Amazon is reportedly in talks to make the groundbreaking Chinese sci-fi trilogy The Three-Body Problem into a TV show -- but another company maintains the rights are theirs alone.

The hugely popular series counts Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg among its readers. The original entry made author Liu Cixin the first Asian author ever to win Best Novel at the Hugo Awards, which focus on sci-fi and fantasy books.

The first book in the trilogy

Set during the Cultural Revolution, the series tells the story of a secret Chinese military project that makes contact with an alien civilization -- which then decides to invade the Earth.

The Financial Times says Amazon is in talks to acquire the rights, and may spend up to US$1 billion to produce three seasons based on the series.

YooZoo Pictures says they’re the only ones with the rights to the series and will develop the series “with a global vision and an open attitude,” according to a statement on Weibo.

Artwork from the movie, filmed in 2015 but never released. (Source: YooZoo Pictures)

But the company, better known as a game developer, tried to release an adaptation of the series before. In 2015 it said it completed filming of a movie based on the first book and would release it in 2016, before postponing it indefinitely -- which could be why fans are now welcoming the news that Amazon may take over.

One poster on Weibo said, "Oh my god, please sell the rights to Amazon. Don't mess this up."