Wandering Earth, China’s Lunar New Year 2019 Box Office sci-fi hit, with over $600 million in ticket sales in the past two weeks, contains a tiny “easter egg” near the end of the film, when the earth government calls upon Israeli scientists for their opinion on a potential solution to planetary destruction.
Some in the primarily Mandarin Chinese speaking audience at the screening that I attended snickered when Israel was mentioned by the international space station computer. Just like in Animal House when the frat members ask the Jewish frat for the right exam answers (spoiler.. the Israeli scientists were right)
The film, which was made for under $50 million, is more story than high tech special effects; and tells the tale of a unified Earth government’s attempt to stop the rotation of the planet, move a selected portion of the population underground, and build 10,000 stationary rockets that will propel the Earth out of its current solar system and transport it to a new solar system many light-years away. The trip will take generations.
The film mainly begins seventeen years into the venture, close to the year 2100, as a frozen (surface temp about -87C on the non dark side of the planet) devastated earth is passing Jupiter.
Shockingly (ha ha), it is not Bruce Willis and America who are the heroes of the story… but mostly China and Chinese stars.
Guo Fan directed the film. It is adapted from Hugo Award winning writer Liu Cixin’s short story of the same name. The film stars Wu Jing.