The production for the live-action adaptation of the Metro 2033 video game based, which is based on the Metro novel series from Dmitry Glukhovsky, has been halted. The reason for the halting of the film is because Glukhovsky argued with producers about setting the film in Washington D.C., which he noted was a “black city” where themes of xenophobia surrounding Nazis, Communists and the Dark Ones would no longer hold the same appeal or thematic weight as they do with the story set in Moscow, Russia.
IGN notes that the rights have no reverted back to Glukhovsky and he’s now talking with producers again and going through the painstaking negotiation process in order to bring the film to life.
In an interview with VG 24/7, Glukhovsky explained that the switch from Moscow to Washington D.C., would have killed the narrative elements that made Metro 2033, saying…
“In Washington DC, Nazis don’t work, Communists don’t work at all, and the Dark Ones don’t work. Washington DC is a black city basically. That’s not at all the allusion I want to have, it’s a metaphor of general xenophobia but it’s not a comment on African Americans at all. So it didn’t work.
“They had to replace the Dark Ones with some kind of random beasts and as long as the beasts don’t look human, the entire story of xenophobia doesn’t work which was very important to me as a convinced internationalist. They turned it into a very generic thing.”
We’ve seen Hollywood take some extreme liberties with video games and novels in the past, changing key characters, altering key storylines, or in the case of Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of The Witcher, race-swapping key characters.
Glukhovsky brings up a salient point about the way the apocalypse is handled in most Western media, pointing out that the appeal of the Metro series is its Russian roots and themes, something that helped the books and games sell millions of copies over the years. He points out that setting it in Washington D.C., would make it another boring American disaster film, telling VG 24/7…
“They’re kind of afraid of setting it in Moscow because Americans have a reputation for liking stories about America. Again, with Metro Last Light and Metro 2033 – the books and the games – selling millions and millions of copies worldwide, it’s probably not as improbable now that people would accept a story happening in Moscow because that’s going to be the unique selling point. 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.”
It’s good that Glukhovsky is getting hands on and preventing producers from turning the story into another boring, Hollywood cash-in flick that would likely bomb at the box office. That’s not to mention that if the producers decided to “get woke” we all know that the Metro 2033 film would be on the fast track to landing a coveted spot on the Get Woke, Go Broke master list.
If Glukhovsky can hold out, find an honest set of creative producers (which is like trying to find a virgin in a whorehouse) then he might be able to see his highly beloved work come to life in the way it was always meant to be portrayed on the silver screen.
(Thanks for the news tip GrandmasterShadow)