Mr. Robot creator set to build Metropolis TV series for Apple

Fritz Lang's Metropolis
(Image credit: UFA)

Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail will bring his long-awaited adaptation of Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction classic Metropolis to Apple TV Plus, as reported by Deadline.

The project, which has been in development since 2016, was originally conceived as part of a huge content deal between Esmail Corp. and Universal Content Productions.

Much like the last few seasons of the award-winning Mr. Robot, and with his Amazon series Homecoming, Esmail will write and direct the entirety of Metropolis, while also acting as its showrunner and taking on executive producer duties.

What is Fritz Lang's Metropolis?

A ground-breaking motion picture from the silent film era, Fritz Lang's Metropolis is considered to be the first feature-length science fiction movie. 

Though critics weren't very kind to it at the time of its 1927 release (even War of the Worlds author H.G. Wells panned it), Metropolis has since gone on to become one of the most praised works in the history of cinema, currently ranked in 36th place on the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound critics poll.

Clearly a film ahead of its time, Metropolis explored the inner workings of a futuristic megacity, positing a society built on the exploitation of a working underclass that toils below ground to keep the city's Utopian façade going.

Based on the novel of the same name by Thea von Harbou, who also wrote the screenplay, Lang's film follows Freder (Gustav Fröhlich), the wealthy son of the city master, and activist Maria (Brigitte Helm) as they attempt to bridge the divide between the city's classes.

With his work on Mr. Robot, Esmail has already proven himself adept at crafting stories about class-inequality in modern society, so we can't to see what a futuristic version of that looks like.

While it's too early to say when the new TV version will land on Apple TV Plus, the fact that it's already received a series order suggests that work will begin on it very soon.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.