Mr. Robot creator turning sci-fi classic Metropolis into TV miniseries

Contributed by
Dec 19, 2016

The first true sci-fi epic will soon be given a new coat of paint, more than 90 years after it premiered.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, German director Fritz Lang's visionary 1927 masterpiece Metropolis is being developed as a miniseries by Universal Cable Productions. Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail is in negotiations to become involved with the project in some way, although whether to direct, write or produce it, or all three, is not confirmed yet.

There are already a handful of writers working on concepts for how to turn the movie into  a TV series. The original film, which was one of the most expensive of its time, took place in a future society where the wealthy lead lives of luxury and decadence in giant skyscrapers while vast numbers of workers toil to run the city's machines far below them in underground chambers. When the son of Metropolis' ruler meets an angelic woman from the caverns, events are set in motion that also involve a vengeful scientist named Rotwang and the iconic golden android he has created.

The original German production was not a hit at the time and severely edited down by its studio (UFA) to make it more palatable to audiences (the original director's cut is lost, but a nearly complete version was restored and released in 2010). Metropolis was, however, acclaimed for its groundbreaking production design and special effects, and there's no quesion that the look of the film has cast a long shadow over sci-fi cinema since.

Metropolis is both old enough and still relevant enough that a remake is not an entirely horrendous idea; it would be interesting to see its original aesthetic and themes given a modern interpretation, and Mr. Robot is dystopian enough to suggest that Esmail may be a strong choice to shepherd that to the screen. The miniseries is still in development and at least two to three years away from premiering, but is a modern retelling of Metropolis something you would like to see?