On The 20th Day of Christmas, please allow us to introduce Mrs Robot – Sam Esmail’s next project as he prepares to remake the seminal sci-fi flick. Metropolis.
If you’ve never seen Fritz Lang’s 1927 movie, it’s a stunning movie which tells the tale of a seemingly perfect utopian city of the future, run by the Lord of Metropolis, Joh Fredersen. When his son, Freder follows a beautiful woman, Maria, he discovers the city is only kept running by an underclass of thousands of workers who live underground…
Maria wants to find a hero to mediate between her worker comrades and the upper-class lords (a heart to connect the muscles to the brain) but Joh decides that the workers are no longer necessary for Metropolis, and uses a robot pretending to be Maria to promote a revolution of the working class and eliminate them.
Here’s the trailer for the classic movie
The mini-series has been described as “Like the original film, the small-screen adaptation will take place in a future society where wealthy industrialists rule the vast city from high-rise tower complexes, while a lower class of underground-dwelling workers toil constantly to operate the machines that provide its power. Risking everything they know, two star-crossed lovers from opposite sides of the divide must find a way to bring down the whole system.”
If you think that a ninety-year-old German movie isn’t relevant, it’s a story that has been told throughout history (leaving one’s own reality to be horrified at the suffering of the little people is The Buddha’s story) and it’s more relevant than ever! Maybe Sam might update the tale to re-tell Trumpotus saving one thousand jobs at Carrier… who plan to use Trump’s tax credits to purchase robots that will replace workers!
Oh, and if you think you recognize Maria, it may be because she influenced this little-known film franchise you’ve probably never heard of, and may have been the inspiration for the name of Superman’s home city, too.
The Good News:
With its dystopian future, dark German Expressionism (think long shadows) sci-fi technology and allegorical message about the two tiers of society, Metropolis is perfect terrain for the Mr Robot showrunner to cover, the only question remains as to how he will update this early 20th-Century classic for a modern audience.
The mini-series will form part of Esmail’s overall deal with (Mr Robot studio) Universal Cable Productions who own the rights to the story and the plan is for Esmail to tackle the adaptation of Metropolis with the same auteur approach as “Robot,” acting as writer and director of a significant number of episodes.
The series is being touted as “big-budget”, and with studios throwing upwards of $10 million per episode at television shows nowadays, that means it will look and feel amazing!
The Bad News:
Sorry, folks, although a small writers room has been set up to work on updating the 20th-century film into a mini-series, Metropolis is still at least two years away from even beginning production because Sam the Man is not expected to run both projects simultaneously.
So that’s something to look forward to half or two-thirds of the way through Trump’s Presidency.
If we’re not all dead by then.
Merry Christmas, folks!