Metropolis: TV series based on classic sci-fi film has been scrapped

Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail’s Apple TV+ series version of Metropolis has been scrapped due to the writers strike

A passion project for Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, the TV series Metropolis, inspired by the 1927 sci-fi classic directed by Fritz Lang, was officially ordered by Apple TV+ fifteen months ago. Earlier this year, Briana Middleton (Sharper) and Lindy Booth (The Librarians) were cast to star in the show. But now Deadline reports that Metropolis has been scrapped, becoming “one of the highest-profile casualties of the growing uncertainty in Hollywood” due to the writers strike.

Deadline has learned that Metropolis had been prepping for production in Australia, but has now been permanently shut down. “The crew was just notified that the ambitious project will not move forward with production, which had been targeting a summer start.” A representative for the production company UCP confirmed, “Push costs and uncertainty related to the ongoing strike led to this difficult decision.” They go on to note, “Metropolis had been in limbo for the past seven weeks. Since production drafts of the scripts for the large-scope, special effects-heavy series had not been finished before the May 2 start of the writers strike, that delayed setting budgets and other key elements of pre-production. Because of the timing, UCP was faced with rising costs related to pushing the start of production, building and holding expansive stages, labor and VFX work — while not knowing when filming could begin due to the writers strike (and the prospect of a potential SAG-AFTRA strike). After evaluating the money spent so far and the risk of going forward, UCP opted to not proceed with the series and notified their partners at Apple TV+.”

Based on a novel by Thea Von Harbou, Metropolis was set in a futuristic urban dystopia and followed the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city master, and Maria, a saintly figure to the workers, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes in their city and bring the workers together with Joh Fredersen, the city master. Plot details for the TV series were being kept under wraps.

Reports of Middleton’s casting revealed that she would be playing a character named Finnie Polito – a name that wasn’t in the previous versions of Metropolis. Booth’s character did have a familiar name: Maria. As SuperHeroHype explained, in the 1927 film Maria was a member of the working class that helped power the titular dystopian city, whose wealthier citizens lived far above them in colossal high-rise buildings. Eventually, Maria meets the city master’s son, Freder, who watches in horror as several workers are killed in a tragic accident. Freder later agrees to help Maria bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. There was some speculation that Finnie Polito could be a version of the Freder character… but now we’ll never get to meet Finnie Polito or this new take on Maria.

How do you feel about the Metropolis TV series being scrapped? Were you looking forward to this show? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.