“Metropolis,” a new reimagining of director Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film classic, itself based on the 1925 novel of the same name by Thea von Harbou (who also wrote Lang’s film), was an exciting project. for Sam Esmail. The “Mr. Robot” creator had teased the series for years before its official announcement in 2022 when it was picked up for streaming on Apple TV+, with production from Universal Content Productions (UCP). “The push costs and the uncertainty of the ongoing strike led to this difficult decision,” a UCP representative told Deadline.
The irony of the UCP blaming the writers’ strike for the cancellation of Esmail’s “Metropolis” should be lost on no one. Writing about Lang’s film for /Film’s Top 100 Movies Of All Time, Witney Seibold noted, “The frustrating thing about Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi epic is that it still remains so relevant.” Set in the titular futuristic dystopian city, the film centers on the struggle for equality among the city’s exploited lower class, who toil endlessly in the underground boiler rooms, operating the machines that serve the city and serving their lords. of business. Enter Maria (Brigitte Helm), the would-be human revolutionary who is replaced with a perfect robotic replica to discourage city workers from uniting and rising up in protest.
“Lang was very keen to delve into the finery of class warfare but, more importantly, how the working classes are manipulated by ‘savior’ figures to vote against their own interests,” Witney observed. Given the parallels between “Metropolis” and how the AMPTP controls the narrative around the WGA strike (not to mention the studios’ interest in using AI to further exploit artists), the story of this abandoned show is an adaptation in itself straight.