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David Benioff, DB Weiss Share Why Barack Obama Turned Down A Role In ‘3 Body Problem’

David Benioff and DB Weiss, having conquered the fantasy genre with Game of Thrones, could have recruited pretty much any talent they desired for their latest project – a big-budget adaptation of Liu Cixi’s sci-fi novel, Three-Body Problem, which comes to Netflix this week.

However, one person remained immune to their powers of persuasion, with the creative pair revealing that former president Barack Obama turned down their bid for him to make a cameo appearance.

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Benioff told USA today that they, along with fellow show-runner Alexander Woo (who previously created vampire drama True Blood), had made the request after learning Obama was a big fan of the original novel: “He did sign a very funny note, when we tried to get him for a cameo. It was to the effect of, ‘In case there ever is a real alien invasion, I think I should probably save myself for that crisis.'”

This is the biggest project from Benioff and Weiss since Game of Thrones finished after eight seasons in 2019. 3 Body Problem follows five earthbound characters trying to defend the planet from invading aliens. Liu Cixi’s novel has sold nine million copies since publication in 2008 and won a Hugo award.

In an interview with the BBC, Weiss shared that he and Benioff had been enthralled by the book’s complexity, calling it “unlike anything we’d ever read, certainly unlike anything we’d ever contemplated bringing to the screen.” It was also “about as far away as you can get from what we’d just done on Thrones.”

The cast for the new show includes John Bradley, Benedict Wong, Liam Cunningham, Jonathan Pryce, Rosalind Chao, Jess Hong, Zene Tseng, Eiza González and Marlo Kelly.

With the novel the first of a trilogy, Weiss and Benioff could be looking at another decade of work. Benioff told the BBC: “I hope it’s as big as Thrones. Our goal really is to get to the third season.”

Read their full interview with the BBC here

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