Metro 2033 Movie Rights Revert to Novel Author After Script Issues Sink Project

MGM acquired the rights to produce a film based on the novel Metro 2033 back in 2012, after the video game adaptation took off and became a franchise. Now, those rights have reverted back to author Dmitry Glukhovsky after issues with the film’s script seem to have caused the entire production to shut down. Now, Glukhovsky is shopping the rights around to other potential buyers.

This news comes from an interview between gaming outlet VG 24/7 and Glukhovsky. According to the report, the issues stemmed from screenwriter F. Scott Frazier attempting to “Americanize” the story of Metro 2033, moving the setting from Moscow to Washington D.C., and changing much about the story in the process.

According to Glukhovsky, changing the city from Moscow makes the Metro 2033 nigh-unrecognizable, taking themes of specifically Russian xenophobia and muddying them to fit the Washington D.C. setting, including changing the Dark Ones to monsters that don’t resemble humans at all. Here’s a choice quote from Glukhovsky with respect to the setting change:

“A lot of things didn’t work out in Washington D.C. In Washington D.C., Nazis don’t work, Communists don’t work at all, and the Dark Ones don’t work. Washington D.C. 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”

That’s a big quote, but there’s a lot happening there, from Glukhovsky’s opinion on what setting the movie in Washington D.C. means to him, to how he explains the themes of his own work.

In the meantime, Glukhovsky told VG 24/7 that he’s talking to a new group of producers about getting a new adaptation off the ground, but warns that these talks can take a long time. For now, a film adaptation of Metro 2033 is back to being an idea or goal, rather than an active project.

[Source: VG 24/7]