Wandering Earth 2 coming to theaters soon

Wandering Earth 2 cover

As the Chinese New Year approaches (22. January 2023) so does the premiere of Wandering Earth 2. In this article, we will briefly summarize the first part and we’ll talk about the casting, trailer, release date, and the story that awaits us in the second part. Wandering Earth, with all its flaws, has gained millions of fans in China. This was the first high-end sci-fi blockbuster from China and the audience eagerly waited for the prequel to hit the big screens.

The original Wandering Earth movie

The first Wandering Earth movie was a massive success in China. It earned over $700 million dollars and it’s the fifth highest-grossing non-English movie to date. The movie was based on short stories written by Liu Cixin. To sum up the plot: Somewhere in the future, as the sun is dying, people all around the Earth are building thruster engines called “Earth engines” in order to move the Earth to another solar system. Not that’s some crazy premises for a movie, right? As the Earth is getting colder half of humanity is living in underground cities. The other half is basically doomed. Earth engines will push the Earth toward Jupiter and use its gravitational pull to slingshot itself toward Alfa Centauri.

A scene where two astronauts struggle to activate the Earth Engine from Wandering Earth

As you might guess, this wild plot premises turns out to have a number of difficulties when it comes to moving the Earth to another solar system. The movie follows Liu Peiqiang (Jing Wu), an astronaut, and Liu Qi (Chuxiao Qu), his son in their struggle to save humanity.  But Wandering Earth is not all about CGI and Interstellar-like effects. It centers on family relationships as well. For those of you who don’t know, this is something that’s commonly seen in Chinese movies. By overcoming many perils, our protagonists manage to move the Earth out of orbit (with a hefty price) and that’s where the first movie finishes. 

Trailer and story for Wandering Earth II

By taking just a brief look at the trailer we see that this is actually the prequel to the original Wandering Earth. The official trailer shows us several things:

  • 2044. The space elevator crisis
  • 2058. Lunar fall crisis
  • 2075. Jupiter’s gravitational pull crisis
  • 2078. solar helium flash crisis

As we know, the first movie ended with Earth being pushed out of our Solar system. This means that all the events in Wandering Earth II have already happened before the first movie. The Wandering Earth I was fun but it had many plot holes. Probably this is the reason why the director decided to go with a prequel, in order to fill those. The main story was so wild that this comes as no surprise. It will be interesting to see how the production will tie up the loose ends and pave a path for Wandering Earth III.

Wandering Earth printscreen

Cast and release date

The release date is set for Chinese New Year, on 22nd January 2023. That’s when the movie will hit China’s mainland movie theaters and the USA as well. Wandering Earth II is coming to Ireland and UK as well on January 27th. The Wandering Earth 2 is again directed by Frant Gwo and produced by China Film. This time, Frant Gwo brought in the Hongkong superstar, Andy Lau as Tu Hengyu and Wu Jing (Wolf Warrior) as Liu Peiqiang, and Li Xuejian (My country, my parents) as Zhou Jiechi. The improved cast does promise this one to be a real Asian diamond when it comes to sci-fi movies.

Wandering Earth I cast

Final thoughts on Wandering Earth II

Wandering Earth II will be popular in China for sure – the first part had major flaws but the Chinese audience still liked it. The audience praised CGI usage and the generally interesting family-oriented drama that it showed. Hopefully, its prequel will offer us more insights into what actually happened before the extinction-level event and provide some explanation of the plot holes that the first part had.


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