‘Metropolis’ TV Series Won’t Go Ahead Despite Writers’ Strike, Rising Pre-Production Costs

EXCLUSIVE: Sam Esmail’s adaptation years of Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis became one of the most publicized victims of the growing uncertainty in Hollywood caused by social unrest amid economic headwinds.

The big-budget UCP series for Apple TV+, which was brewing in Australia, has been shut down for good. The team has just been informed that the ambitious project will not go ahead with production, which was aiming for a summer start.

No More Deadline

UCP confirmed to Deadline that Metropolis was scrapped. “The push costs and uncertainty of the ongoing strike led to this difficult decision,” a studio representative said.

Metropolis had been in limbo for seven weeks. Since production drafts of the series’ full-scale and special effects scripts were not complete before the start of the writers’ strike on May 2, this delayed the establishment of budgets and other key elements. from pre-production.

The series was partially cast, with Briana Middleton leading and Lindy Booth signed on for a major role.

Due to the timing, UCP faced increased costs from starting production, building and holding expansive stages, laboring VFX work – not knowing when to shoot could begin due to the writers’ strike (and the prospect of a potential SAG-AFTRA strike). After weighing the money spent so far and the risk of moving forward, UCP has opted not to pursue the series and has notified its Apple TV+ partners.

Filming was to take place in the state of Victoria where it was expected to create nearly 4,000 jobs, using one of the largest “virtual production” facilities in the world, according to the April 2022 announcement.

Australian VicScreen brought the series to the state with its Victorian Screen Incentive grant. This was to be the first of several NBCU projects in the region representing an injection of 416 million Australian dollars ($310 million) into the local economy.

Metropolis was a passion project for Mister Robot creator Esmail. He was writer, director and executive producer of the eight-episode series he had been working on for over seven years. The highly anticipated project landed on Apple TV+ with a series order last year. The Esmail executive produced through his deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, and Chad Hamilton, through Anonymous Content.

Directed by Lang and written by Thea Von Harbou based on the latter’s 1925 novel, the original film is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the city master’s wealthy son, and Maria, a holy figure of the workers. , to overcome the vast chasm separating the classes in their city and reunite the workers with Joh Fredersen, the master of the city.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for the Deadline newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.

Leave a Comment