At the start of March, Apple TV+ announced that it had placed a series order for Metropolis, a new drama inspired by the classic Fritz Lang sci-fi film of the same name.
The streaming service said back then that the new series would be entirely written and directed by Sam Esmail, who would also serve as its showrunner. Esmail is known for having created, written and directed the drama thriller series Mr. Robot, starring Rami Malek, as well as for the Amazon Prime Video psychological thriller series Homecoming, on which he was a director and producer.
The news of the Metropolis project, however, is arguably particularly exciting due to its evocation of the seminal 1927 film. And in recent days, it has been reported that the new Apple TV+ series will shoot in the Australian state of Victoria, where the production is expected to create almost 4,000 jobs, and make use of one of the world’s largest ‘virtual production’ infrastructures.
According to a Deadline report, it was the Victorian Government’s creative and economic screen development agency, VicScreen, and its Victorian Screen Incentive grant, that drew Metropolis to the state.
NBCUniversal’s Universal Studio Group is working alongside Esmail to produce the new eight-part series. It is anticipated that Metropolis will be merely the first of several NBCU projects in the region, set to inject A$416 million ($310 million) into the local economy over several years.
Fritz Lang’s Metropolis – based on Thea von Harbou’s 1925 science-fiction novel of the same name – is a highly stylized silent film set in a futuristic modern dystopia with a huge class divide. Its protagonist is a privileged young man called Freder, who – despite being the son of the authoritarian master of the city, Joh – discovers the grim underbelly of society and sets out to befriend and help the lower-class workers.
Metropolis received a mixed reception at the time of its release during the German Weimar period, but is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films of all time.
As for the Esmail and Apple TV+ reworking, we are yet to hear further details about the plot, cast or release date. But here at AppleMagazine, we will be sure to keep an eye out for you, and to keep you updated.