If Space Aliens Invade, Barack Obama Is Ready to Do His Part

Barack Obama in London

Former United States President Barack Obama in London, England on March 18, 2024.
Photo: Carl Court (Getty Images)

While Bill Pullman’s Independence Day character will likely always be the gold standard for how the President of the United States should react if hostile aliens invade, a certain real-life former POTUS seems a probable close second. It’s sci-fi guy Barack Obama, of course—a fan of author Liu Cixin, though he turned down a cameo in Netflix adaptation 3 Body Problem.

Netflix Passwords, ChatGPT Can’t Detect AI, and No More CoTweets | Editor Picks

Speaking to USA Today, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss—who co-created the series with Alexander Woo, and were also the team behind HBO’s Game of Thrones, another Obama favorite—said they reached out to see if Obama might want to pop up in their new sci-fi series. While he passed, “he did sign a very funny note,” according to Benioff. “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.’” Added Weiss, “He wants to keep his powder dry in case there’s a real thing.”

USA Today also notes that Obama was touting the source novel back in 2017, a few years after the Chinese-language book was translated into English by Ken Liu. “The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read,” Obama told the New York Times. “Partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty—not something to worry about. Aliens are about to invade!”

And indeed they are—on Netflix, at least. 3 Body Problem hits the streamer later this week, on March 21.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.