The planned live-action film adaptation for post-apocalyptic Russian series Metro 2033 has stalled after creative differences between author Dmitry Glukhovsky and film production company MGM ended with the film rights reverting back to the author.
In an interview with Glukhovsky for VG247, the author explained how a decision by American film company MGM to "Americanize" the first Metro novel that would serve as a basis for the film ended in disagreement for both parties. "The project with MGM optioning this book and developing a script had brought us to nothing and the rights reverted to me," Glukhovsky says.
The writers for the Metro film script apparently planned to relocate the setting from Moscow, Russia to Washington D.C. which the author protested against. "We've seen the American version of apocalypse a lot of times and the audience that like the genre are educated and saturated and not really wishing to get anymore of that," Glukhovsky says. The author believes that as an international best-seller the Moscow setting was a unique selling point.
More than the setting, changes needed to be made regarding the monsters, which Glukhovsky said were metaphors for nationalism and xenophobia. "In Washington D.C., Nazis don't work, Communists don't work at all, and the Dark Ones don't work. Washington D.C. is a black city basically. That's not at all the allusion I want to have, it' a metaphor of general xenophobia but it's not a comment on African Americans at all. So it didn't work."
The script writers tried to replace the Dark Ones with "some kind of random beasts" but because they didn't look human Glukhovsky says the metaphor for xenophobia didn't work which he says was unacceptable as he is a "convinced internationalist."
Glukhovsky says he is currently shopping the rights to new producers and is optimistic. He hopes the release of Metro Exodus, the next game in the Metro series, will help make the IP more marketable.
Read the full interview at VG247.