The post-apocalyptic novel and video game Metro 2033 had an adaptation planned for next year, but now it’s dead like all of us in that world. Dmitry Glukhovsky, the original author of the novel series who leased the rights to MGM in 2016 that ultimately dropped the nuke on the whole thing, and the reason is amazing.
In his script, writer F. Scott Frazier (who I now hate because of them aping one of my favorite writers’ pen names) “Americanized” the story and took it from Moscow to Washington, DC. Now I get it, as someone who has ridden the DC Metro many times, I too would love to show off that brutalist beauty as it would have been in a movie that takes place mostly underground but enough is enough.
Speaking on the changes, Glukhovsky said:
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.
For those who are confused, in the universe of Metro 2033, The Dark Ones are creatures that survived the nuclear fallout and are generally seen as a universal enemy despite little information being known about them. They play a central part in the climax of the story and if they had to be altered the hook wouldn’t land as much, so the plug was pulled.
Good riddance I say, ’tis better to have no adaptation than a bad one I say.
With the rights reverted back to him, Glukhovsky is optimistic that a new adaptation can be shopped around while still maintaining the vision he has in place. For now though, it’s the waiting game.
Metro 2033 adaptation cancelled [PC Gamer]