In 2012, MGM started working on an adaptation of the Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel Metro 2033 published first in 2005 in Russia and 2010 in the United States. The plan was to develop a movie which will follow the events of the first novel just like the video game from 2010 did. However, now it seems that the movie production has stopped and the rights were reverted back to Glukhovsky.
The concept for the movie was based on the idea to Americanize the story. xXx: Return of Xander Cage writer F. Scott Frazier was tasked to do so by moving the events of the novel from Moscow to Washington D.C.
“The project with MGM optioning this book and developing a script had brought us to nothing and the rights reverted to me,” said Glukhovsky during a recent interview with vg24/7. “So currently we are speaking with a new set of producers about a possible adaptation but this is a very long and difficult process. I’m still optimistic. We’ll see if the release of Metro Exodus can push the IP across a little bit the oceans and see how that works.”
In a way, this may be for the best since the Moscow subway is quite unique, as well as the whole atmosphere in the novel which lacks the spectacle of the American cinema. But, on the other hand, this was a good chance for the author to expand his creation further since we all know that Hollywood’s voice goes pretty far.
Another problem with Americanizing of the story is that the original criticized Russian political system dealt with nationalism and the closed-off attitude towards anything foreign. That is something that might have been neglected in the script, but on the other hand, it may have not been since US president Donald Trump seems to embody all those things Glukhovsky criticized in the novel in the first place.
However, the Metro 2033 writer has his own say on the matter.
“A lot of things didn’t work out in Washington DC,” explained Glukhovsky. “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.”
He also stated that the producers replaced the Dark Ones with beasts that don’t look human at all, which in his opinion ruins the motif of xenophobia.
While we wait to see the conclusion to this story and whether Metro 2033 found new producers, there is good news for the fans of the video game. Metro Exodus will launch on February 22, 2019, and is the third game in the series inspired by the novel Metro 2035.