The 1927 silent film Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang, was one of the first feature films in the science fiction genre, and is considered to be one of the best ever made.
Now a new take on the movie is on the way, but it’s not coming to the big screen. Sam Esmail, the creator of the hit series Mr. Robot, is currently developing a TV miniseries adaptation of Metropolis for Universal Cable Productions, where he has an overall deal.
The original movie was made nearly 90 years ago now, and yet the story was still set ten years from where we are now in 2026. When the TV miniseries adaptation will be set is not specified. But just like the movie, it will be set in a futuristic city where the wealthy live comfortably high above, and the poor live below working the machines that power everything. The story will follow two lovers, who come from opposite sides of this society, trying to bring down the system.
Metropolis is still in the earliest stages of development, so don’t expect to see it anytime soon. The writers room only consists of a few people, who are focusing more on figuring out where to go with the miniseries conceptually than actually penning scripts.
The plan is for the adaptation to arrive in about two to three years, and it’s still not even clear what Esmail’s overall role will be. Esmail has said in the past that he only sees Mr. Robot as running four seasons, five max. With the show going into its third season next year, things could unfold perfectly with that show coming to a close and Esmail then moving into being fully involved in Metropolis. If things change, he’ll have to be involved in a lesser role.
What network the miniseries will air on is unknown at the moment as well. Universal Cable Productions is part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, so it will most likely end up on one of its own channels such as USA, where Mr. Robot lives, or Syfy. That said, this isn’t a guarantee and the miniseries being shopped to other networks and streaming services is not out of the question.
One thing that’s for sure is that this will be a big production. It’s said that Universal is willing to pay around $10 million per episode—the same as what HBO paid for each episode of the most recent season of Game of Thrones—so expect Metropolis to be quite the event.
Here’s a trailer of one of the versions of the original movie for those who have never seen it.