Dmitry Glukhovsky’s epic survival sci-fi novel, Metro 2033, is officially on deck for a live-action adaptation. As Leo Barraclough’s Variety piece notes, Gazprom Media holds exclusive rights with in-house banners – TNT-Premier Studios Company, TV-3 Channel and Central Partnership – developing the film.
Initially published online in 2002 as an experiment before its 2005 print release, Metro 2033 centers on a young man keen on helping solving the mystery surrounding “The Dark Ones”, creatures feared throughout by the stationed inhabitants of Moscow’s fractitious Metro system following nuclear fallout in 2013.
The book has been a major hit around the world in many territories, and is the first of a trilogy of novels. It also spans a wide array of merchandising as it has over the years, including fan novels and video games. Gazprom Media’s acquisition comes nearly decade since Gluhovsky attempted to bring the IP to Hollywood, only to rescind his efforts last December over creative differences.
Here are the buzzy bits:
Valery Fedorovich, one of the film’s producers, said: “The book by this Russian author has become known throughout the world, and it is embedded in the cultural code of sci-fi fans and gamers all over the planet. For us and Gazprom Media Holding, this is a dream project, the most ambitious and large-scale film that we have ever launched. We intend to invest an unprecedented sum … in the production and promotion of this movie both in Russia and abroad.”
Glukhovsky said: “’Metro 2033’ is my first novel. It played a very special role in my life, and, despite getting numerous offers to [adapt it for the screen], I turned them all down for over 10 years.
“In Russia, I didn’t see any producers who could make a good [screen adaptation of] this book. It just seemed impossible. But now I finally met a team that I can entrust ‘Metro’ with. Our ambitions turned out to be similar: to create a world-class blockbuster and stun even those who have read the trilogy and know it by heart. So as not to disappoint them, I am ready to become a creative producer of the movie and help create it with both my advice and action.”
Evgeniy Nikishov, another of the film’s producers, said: “In the last decades, a real mass culture cult of post-apocalyptic fiction has taken shape in our country, therefore, it bears great box-office potential.
“Books by the Strugatsky Brothers and Dmitry Glukhovsky, ‘The Fallout’ and ‘The Last of Us’ video games, the ‘Walking Dead’ series, and the ‘Mad Max’ [movies] are just a few titles on the list of those that are popular with Russians of all ages. That’s why we are planning the largest-scale advertising campaign we have ever done.”
Vadim Vereshchagin, Central Partnership director, said: “’Metro 2033’ is a cult novel that has played a great role in the development of a whole generation. Regarding cinema production, this work is difficult to adapt for the screen but it will undoubtedly pay off as a major hit at the box office.”
If you live in the states where you’re inunated by media that otherwise obscures other worldly bits, you have to follow online news pretty closely to keep up with foreign film titles. This is particularly regarding film news and especially if it isn’t proliferated somehow by Hollywood name status or correlation (a la Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Viy 2: Journey To China), so a hat-tip goes to Den Of Geek on this one.
Russian cinema undoubtedly has its moments in recurring fashion when it comes to going big and bold with production quality. And Central Partnership is no exception given the reception I witnessed over the trailer for Andrey Kravchuk’s Viking several years ago. That kind of opened my eyes a bit, and so with that comes the seeming promise of something that finally reads like a sure thing going forward.
A premiere date in Russia has been set for January 1, 2022. Casting and director/crew announcements remain pending.