In what might be some of the most exciting entertainment news in recent weeks, Mr, Robot creator Sam Esmail is reportedly in the early stages of developing a television mini-series based on the classic silent film, Metropolis. The project is unfolding at Universal Cable Productions, which appears to have made a huge commitment to Esmail, allowing him a great deal of time and a vast budget to fully realize his vision.
Metropolis is a German, silent science fiction film that was released in 1927 – directed by Fritz Lang, who co-wrote the screenplay with his then wife, Thea von Harbou, who was the author of the original story. It’s set in a dystopian 2026, and finds the city of Metropolis divided along class lines. Wealthy industrialists rule from the upper reaches of their high rise towers, while impoverished workers operate the underground machinery that provides them power. The son of the city’s master falls in love with a worker, who believes that an individual can bring the classes together. The obsession of one scientist creates deadly havoc in the city, however.
The political and social relevance of this project is undeniable, and the fact that Sam Esmail – whose award-winning Mr. Robot presents a no-holds-barred view of capitalism and our reliance on technology – is heading it up is thrilling, to say the least. Reports suggest that Universal Cable Productions is providing Esmail with up to three years to bring Metropolis to the small screen, with a possible budget of up to $10 million per episode. With a writer’s room that is purposefully smaller than average, Esmail will serve as Executive Producer – with a greater level of involvement possible, depending on negotiations. However those deals eventually shape up, this will surely be one of the most highly anticipated TV projects of the next few years.