After six years in development, plans for an MGM film adaptation of ‘Metro 2033’ have been scrapped. ‘Metro 2033’ was a post-apocalyptic novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, set in Moscow after the apocalypse, with the action taking place in the abandoned metro tunnels, as humans try to survive other humans as well as monstrous “Dark Ones.” The initial story appeared online before being published in book form in 2005. It has spawned two sequels and a series of first-person shooter video games, translated into a variety of languages around the world, including in English.
According to Glukhovsky, the film adaptation fell apart because “a lot of things didn’t work” specifically an attempt to Americanize the story by setting it in Washington DC instead of Moscow.
“A lot of things didn’t work out in Washington DC. 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.
“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.”
There is a twist that involves the Dark Ones, that supports the idea of xenophobia that they are supposed to represent.
What do you think? Would you like to see a movie based on ‘Metro 2033’? What do you think about a post-apocalyptic adventure set somewhere other than the United States?