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The live-action film based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s 2005 novel of the same name, Metro 2033, has been put on the shelf.
Announced back in 2016, the pre-production on the film came to a halt when Glukhovsky found out (via VG247) scriptwriter F. Scott Frazier was planning to “Americanize” the setting by moving the setting of the film from Moscow to Washington DC, which is basically sacrilege.
“A lot of things didn’t work out in Washington DC,” Glukhovsky said. “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.”
Following this, the rights have reverted back to Glukhovsky, and we might not see a film adaptation for some time. Glukhovsky said MGM decided to change the setting of the film to the United States because “Americans have a reputation for liking stories about America.” This doesn’t make sense because the Metro franchise is known for being gloriously and unabashedly Russian.
Glukhovsky is a fan of the video game adaptations, which have thus far really captured the extremely Slavic nature of the setting, although we haven’t seen track suits yet.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Lastly, Glukhovsky said he’s still “optimistic” about a Metro 2033 film being made eventually, and hopes the release for the upcoming Metro Exodus game will expose the series to an even bigger audience. Metro Exodus is launching on February 22nd for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.