Saturday, February 24, 2024

Metropolis, Sam Esmail talks about the series canceled due to the strike: “It was heartbreaking”

Metropolis, Sam Esmail talks about the series canceled due to the strike: "It was heartbreaking"

Screenwriter Sam Esmail has still not recovered from the strike-related cancellation of the serial adaptation of Metropolis, which he had been working on for seven years.

Metropolis, Sam Esmail talks about the series canceled due to the strike: 'It was heartbreaking'

The author of Mr. Robot Sam Esmail spent years creating a TV series inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic, Metropolisto see the project canceled due to Hollywood strikes.

Seven weeks after the writers’ strike began, studio UCP, with which Esmail had an overall agreement, pulled the plug on the big-budget series that was supposed to be filmed in Australia and which starred Briana Middleton and Lindy Booth.

Due to the strike, Sam Esmail was unable to comment on the cancellation at the time, but he did so a few hours ago on the red carpet at the premiere of the Netflix film The World Behind You, with Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali.

“Obviously, it was heartbreaking.”he told Deadline. “But during the strike we all understood that. I got to work with a lot of talented people in Australia, where we were mounting the production. It was a really good experience and I don’t regret it for a second.”

The end of a dream

As Deadline reported at the time, since draft scripts for the series had not been completed by the start of the writers’ strike, delays in finalizing budgets and other key pre-production elements spelled doom of the series.

After seven weeks in limbo, the UCP assessed the risk of continuing the project in the midst of rising costs related to starting production early, building and maintaining sets, labor and special effects too high. Especially in the middle of a double strike. Ultimately the studio decided not to proceed with the series and informed its Apple TV+ partners.

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“The high costs and uncertainty associated with the ongoing strike have led to this difficult decision” a studio representative told Deadline at the time.

As announced in April 2022, the filming of Metropolis were due to take place in the state of Victoria, where almost 4,000 jobs were expected to be created, using one of the largest “virtual manufacturing” infrastructures in the world. Sam Esmail was supposed to write, direct and produce the eight-episode series, seven years in the making. Is this the official death of the project?

“It’s officially over for now, but it’s Hollywood, who knows?” the author declared.