Production on the Metro 2033 movie based on the novel of the same name has halted due to script issues that changes parts of the movie to make it more Americanized.
VG247 reported that Dmitry Glukhovsky, the author of the post-apocalyptic novel the movie was based on, has now regained the rights to the project from MGM. Glukhovsky spoke about the project and its issues while saying that the scriptwriter F. Scott Frazier planned to move the movie's setting to Washington D.C. instead of Russia where the series novel and game adaptation are both set. The author is working with new producers to continue trying to make the movie adaptation a reality.
"The project with MGM optioning this book and developing a script had brought us to nothing and the rights reverted to me," Glukhovsky said. "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."
Anyone who's read the novel or played through one of the Metro games will know that Metro 2033 takes place in Russia, not Washington D.C., a location that'd seem quite foreign to the series. The novel and game are centered around the metro system that runs underneath Moscow where survivors who lived through the nuclear fallout of the apocalypse have taken shelter while defending themselves against mutated creatures. There are also themes and characters in Metro 2033 such as the Dark Ones, a group of creatures that are central to the game's story, that Glukhovsky said wouldn't have worked if the film's setting was Americanized.
"A lot of things didn't work out in Washington DC," Glukhovsky said. "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 added that the plan for the Dark Ones was to replace them with "random beasts" that didn't look human, something that he said would make it so that "the entire store of xenophobia doesn't work."
There's no known release timing for the Metro 2033 movie now that production has halted, but the next game in the series called Metro Exodus is scheduled to release on February 22nd.