MGM has picked up the film rights to the Russian sci-fi novel ‘Metro 2033’ written by Dmitri Glukhovsky.

According to THR, the studio has tapped scribe F. Scott Frazier to adapt the novel and has Mark Johnson (‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ movies, ‘Galaxy Quest’ ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’) producing via his Gran Via Productions company.

The rise of ‘Metro 2033’ to the big screen is a fascinating story as the book actually first appeared in Russian online in 2002. Having some success over the web, it was finally published as a novel in 2005. Since then, the novel has been translated into 35 languages, including English and has spawned 19 sequels in Glukhovsky’s native Russian language. It even has a video game developed by 4A Games with a sequel to be released sometime next year.

‘Metro 2033’ takes place in the year 2033, years after a nuclear holocaust leaves Moscow uninhabitable forcing survivors to head underground. When a new threat appears that could ultimately wipe of all humanity, it’s up to one young survivor who must overcome mutants altered by the radiation, soldiers from the Fourth Reich and various underground political factions in order to warn everyone before it’s too late.

Here’s a rather lengthy book description from Amazon:

The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind. But the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory, the stuff of myth and legend.

More than 20 years have passed since the last plane took off from the earth. Rusted railways lead into emptiness. The ether is void and the airwaves echo to a soulless howling where previously the frequencies were full of news from Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. Man’s time is over.

A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on earth. They live in the Moscow Metro – the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. It is humanity’s last refuge. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters – or the simple need to repulse an enemy incursion. It is a world without a tomorrow, with no room for dreams, plans, hopes. Feelings have given way to instinct – the most important of which is survival. Survival at any price.

VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line. It was one of the Metro’s best stations and still remains secure. But now a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro, to the legendary Polis, to alert everyone to the awful danger and to get help. He holds the future of his native station in his hands, the whole Metro – and maybe the whole of humanity.

The premise has “franchise” written all over it and with video games and a book series already popularizing the book, MGM could do well with this project which may help the studio bounce back from their recent bankruptcy filing.

Have you read the book? What are your thoughts of another post-apocalyptic film?

As usual, will keep you in the know as more news on ‘Metro 2033’ develops.