The Wandering Earth

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The Wandering Earth
The Wandering Earth film poster.jpg
Chinese流浪地球
MandarinLiúlàng Dìqiú
Directed byFrant Gwo
Produced byGong Ge'er
Written by
  • Gong Ge'er
  • Yan Dongxu
  • Frant Gwo
  • Ye Junce
  • Yang Zhixue
  • Wu Yi
  • Ye Ruchang
Based onThe Wandering Earth (Chinese: 流浪地球)
by Liu Cixin
Starring
Edited byCheung Ka-fai
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • February 5, 2019 (2019-02-05) (China)
  • February 8, 2019 (2019-02-08) (North America and Australia)
Running time
125 minutes
CountryChina
LanguageMandarin
Budget$50 million[1]
Box office$472 million[2]

The Wandering Earth (Chinese: 流浪地球) is a 2019 Chinese science fiction film directed by Frant Gwo. It is based on the novella of the same name by the Locus Award and Hugo Award winning author Liu Cixin, and was released on February 5, 2019 (the 2019 Chinese New Year's Day).[3][4]

The Hollywood Reporter describes it as "China's first full-scale interstellar spectacular".[5]

Plot[edit]

In the near future, the Sun ages and is about to turn into a red giant, pushing the nations of the world to consolidate into the United Earth Government, a world government, and initiate a project to move Earth out of the Solar System to the Alpha Centauri system, in order to preserve human civilization. Huge thrusters running on fusion power are built across the planet to propel it. Human population is reduced severely due to catastrophic tides that occur after the planetary engines stop Earth's rotation, and later as the planet moves away from the Sun, much of the surface is frozen due to lowered temperatures, forcing humans to live in vast underground cities built adjacent to the engines.

At the beginning of the film, Liu Peiqiang (Wu Jing), a Chinese astronaut, promises to his son Liu Qi (Qu Chuxiao) of his eventual return before his mission to a space station that helps Earth navigate as it moves out of the Solar system, and hands guardianship of his son over to his father-in-law Han Zi'ang (Ng Man-tat).

Several years later, Liu Peiqiang's mission is about to end and he will soon return to Earth. To celebrate Chinese New Year, an adult Liu Qi brings adopted sister Han Duoduo (Zhao Jinmai) on a trip to the surface in a truck they steal using Han Zi'ang's clearance as a trucker. They are arrested, and meet Tim (Mike Sui) as well as Han Zi'ang who unsuccessfully tries to get them released.

As Earth passes by Jupiter, it is captured by Jupiter's gravity, causing devastating earthquakes that disable many thrusters across the globe. The four escape amidst the chaos and attempt to make their way out using the stolen truck, but the truck is requisitioned for a rescue mission by the military; they are to transport an engine component to the damaged thruster in Hangzhou, supervised by soldiers led by Wang Lei (Li Guangjie). In the remnants of Shanghai, they lose their vehicle, and while transporting the component up the ruins of a skyscraper Han Zi'ang is killed. With news that the Hangzhou thruster was fully compromised and the city was completely destroyed, the group temporarily despair. They however find a new vehicle where the on-board engineer, Li Yiyi (Zhang Yichi), convinces them to transport an engine component to repair a larger planetary engine in Sulawesi.

In space, Liu Peiqiang discovers that MOSS, the artificial intelligence commanding the space station, has directed it to escape rather than to assist the humans on Earth. He breaks out of forced hibernation and attempts to stop the spacecraft along with Russian cosmonaut Makarov, who is killed by the spacecraft's automated security measures. Liu Peiqiang arrives in the control room, but his clearances were revoked due to his undisciplinary acts and he can do little to override the escape process.

Liu Qi's group arrive at Sulawesi to find that the engine was already fully restored. Globally, most of the planetary thrusters have been repaired as well. However, Earth has moved past Jupiter's Roche limit and will be destroyed anyway, with the restored thrust unable to propel it away. The group despairs on learning this, but Liu Qi, inspired by recollection of his father's explanation of the thrusters' mechanics as a child, proposes to ignite Jupiter's hydrogen-abundant atmosphere to blow Earth away. Li Yiyi proposes to concentrate the Sulawesi engine's power to fire a beam high enough to ignite Jupiter. The group overcome various challenges, such as renewed aftershock tremors that injure several members, and are able to mostly reconfigure the engine to carry out the plan, however they are not able to push the firing pin of the engine to ignite it.

Liu Peiqiang, learning of this, is able to persuade the United Earth Goverment to use its communication channels to call assistance for the party at Sulawesi, even though MOSS reveals that the solution being attempted has no chance of success based on probability calculations. Other rescue and repair parties arrive and the engine is fired up, but it falls short of being able to ignite the hydrogen. Liu Peiqiang decides to use the space station's engine itself to ignite Jupiter's hydrogen; after disabling MOSS using a fire started with vodka that Makarov smuggled on-board, he pilots the spacecraft into the cloud between Jupiter and Earth, sacrificing himself as the ignition succeeds. Earth is saved from destruction, and continues to move towards the destination star system.

As the film ends, Liu Qi recounts and envisions the stages of Earth's migration, a process to take 2,500 years and still bound with uncertainty, in a hopeful tone.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Pre-production[edit]

In order to establish a rigorous setting, Frant Gwo invited four scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to act as consultants.[6] The film's three thousand concept maps and more than eight thousand sub-mirrors were elaborately created by a conceptual art team of three hundred people over a period of 15 months.[7]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography started on May 26, 2017 in Qingdao, a seaside city on north China's Shandong province,[6] and wrapped on September 27, 2017.[8]

Weta Workshop made the film's highly specialised spacesuits, exoskeletons and weaponry.[9][10]

Post-production[edit]

The visual effects of the film were made by Base FX (VFX Supervisor: Varun Hadkar), Bottleship VFX, Dexter Studios, Macrograph, More VFX, Pixomondo and Black Nomad.[citation needed]

The film's IMAX 3D version was made by using the proprietary DMR (Digital Media Remastering) process.[11]

"My film was successful but I don't want to speak about only one successed film and China sci-fi move could be find a new way for being better in 2019" The Movie director, Frant Gwo told to the China.org.cn[12] Liu Cixin, the author of the novel Wandering Earth said to the state broadcaster CCTV, "Chinese studios have no interest to invest in sci-fi films. US sci-fi films audiences have trust but this trust between audiences and China sci-fi movie haven't been exist and this is the main difference between Chinese and US sci-fi films. He said it is challenge because this trust must build between producers, investors and the audience until people have faith in a Chinese sci-fi movie.[12]

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's soundtrack was composed by Roc Chen (Chinese: 阿鯤) and Liu Tao (Chinese: 刘韬).[13]

Release[edit]

On December 25, 2018, the first official trailer for the film was released at the China Aerospace Museum in Beijing along with a teaser poster.[14]

On January 30, 2019, Beijing-based distributor China Media Capital (CMC Pictures) announced that it has secured the international rights and is planning a sizable North American release on February 8. The company will open the film in 22 cities in the U.S. and three in Canada, as well as throughout Australia and New Zealand.[15]

Wandering Earth released over the holiday season, lunar new year, and earned more than 2 Billion Yuan (232 Million Euro) in six days, setting a new record for a Chinese film.[12]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Zhang Yan of Guangming Daily gave the film a positive review.[16] Tasha Robinson of The Verge describes the film as "rich, gorgeous, and goofy".[17] Travis Johnson, of Flicks.com.au gave it four out of five stars and, whilst criticising that the film for its lack of character development, praised the visuals and called it the best science fiction film of 2019.[18] Zhong Sheng section in People's Daily gave the film a positive review and said the film is "not superheroes saving the world but the mankind changing their destiny together."[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 周静. "Chinese sci-fi writer to get five movie adaptations". china.org.cn. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  2. ^ {{|https://twitter.com/gavinfeng97/status/1096074070435581952?s=19%7C}}
  3. ^ "《流浪地球》定档2019大年初一中国科幻冒险启程". Global Times (in Chinese). 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  4. ^ Li, Gabriel (2019-02-10). "China's First Hard Sci-fi Film 'The Wandering Earth' — Self-Banishment of Our Mother Planet". Pandaily. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  5. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (4 December 2017). "Chinese Film Sector Charts a Course for a Sci-Fi Blockbuster to Call Its Own". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. ^ a b "刘慈欣又一科幻神作将搬上银幕 《流浪地球》青岛开机 《同桌的你》导演执导". Mtime (in Chinese). 2017-05-31. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  7. ^ ""做科幻电影不仅仅是没有钱这么简单" 《流浪地球》曝科幻特辑 揭秘筹拍四年幕后". Mtime (in Chinese). 2018-11-14. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  8. ^ 巴塞电影 (2017-09-28). "两部重头戏同一天杀青,明年国产片要有大动静". Sohu (in Chinese). Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  9. ^ "Sam Gao's Middle Earth, Wandering Earth and WETA". Radio New Zealand. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  10. ^ "Weta Workshop Movie and TV projects » Weta Workshop". www.wetaworkshop.com. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  11. ^ "《流浪地球》大年初一登陆IMAX影院 IMAX专属海报曝光 装甲背影"风雪夜归人"". Mtime (in Chinese). 2019-01-16. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  12. ^ a b c Kuo, Lily (11 February 2019). "China challenges Hollywood with own sci-fi blockbuster". theguardian.com. theguardian. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  13. ^ https://maoyan.com/films/celebrity/952932
  14. ^ "国产科幻《流浪地球》曝预告定档大年初一吴京"成了是英雄死了是烈士" 作者刘慈欣站台". Mtime (in Chinese). 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  15. ^ "China's First Big-Budget Sci-Fi Movie 'The Wandering Earth' to Get U.S. Release (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  16. ^ Zhang, Yan (2019-02-12). "《流浪地球》何以动人". Guangming Daily (in Chinese). Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  17. ^ Robinson, Tasha (2019-02-09). "China's blockbuster The Wandering Earth is rich, gorgeous, and goofy". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  18. ^ Johnson, Travis (2019-02-08). "Chinese blockbuster The Wandering Earth might be the best sci-fi movie of 2019". Flicks.com.au. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  19. ^ "《流浪地球》折射源自现实的未来感(钟声)". People's Daily (in Chinese). 2019-02-14. Retrieved 2019-02-15.

External links[edit]