3 Body Problem: How new Netflix show found itself at centre of real-life murder poisoning

Lin Qi, who was 39, died on Christmas day 2020

Rich Booth
Tuesday 02 April 2024 05:08 BST
3 Body Problem trailer

A former executive was sentenced to death last month in the 2020 poisoning of the founder of the high-profile Chinese gaming company, which has links to Game of Thrones and the new Netflix series, “The Three-Body Problem.”

Xu Yao poisoned the food of Yoozoo Game founder Lin Qi in December 2020 because of a dispute over the running of the business, the Shanghai First Intermediate People’s Court said.

Jess Hong as Jin Cheng in ‘3 Body Problem’ (Netflix)

Lin, who was 39, died on Christmas day. Police detained Xu a few days after Lin’s death.

Four other people were left seriously ill but did not die after Xu poisoned beverages in the office between September and December 2020 because of disputes with two of them, the court said in a statement.

Lin Qi, Chairman and CEO of Yoozoo Games Co was poisoned (VCG via Getty Images)

Shanghai-headquartered Yoozoo said at the time of the death that it had received notice of Lin’s passing via his family. It did not specify a cause or provide further detail.

In a post to social media signed from the entire staff, the company wrote: “You saw through what was imperfect but still believed in beauty; encountered unkindness but still believed in kindness. Together, we will continue to be kind, continue to believe in beauty, and continue to fight against all that is unkind.” The goodbye was paired with an image of a handwritten note with a quote from “The Three-Body Problem.”

Yoozoo owns the film rights to “The Three-Body Problem,” a best-selling Chinese science fiction trilogy, and Xu headed up a subsidiary in charge of business related to it, according to Chinese media reports.

Lin was an executive producer alongside Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on the high-profile English-language adaptation of novelist Liu Cixin’s trilogy for Netflix.

The Yoozoo Game logo in Shaghai (Chinatopix)

In September 2020, the company granted Netflix the right to produce an adaptation of the trilogy.

The series has just been released on Netflix and follows a group of present-day scientists as humanity faces an alien invasion.

In present-day Britain, a group of physicists, nicknamed “The Oxford Five” seek to understand why scientific experiments around the world are failing. They get a helping hand from unconventional detective, Da Shi (Benedict Wong), an operative of a secret intelligence agency.

The eight-episode series’ ensemble cast includes actors Eiza Gonzalez, Jovan Adepo, Jess Hong and Jonathan Pryce, while Brad Pitt, Rosamund Pike and Rian Johnson are among the show’s executive producers.

Yoozoo, also known as Youzu Interactive, developed “Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming,” a game based on the TV series.

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