“Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail is knee-deep in preparation for the third season of his USA Network drama next year. But he’s got his eye on two high-profile new projects through his overall deal with “Mr. Robot” studio Universal Cable Productions and Anonymous Content.
Esmail is preparing a TV series adaptation of Fritz Lang’s legendary 1927 sci-fi silent film “Metropolis.” UCP controls the rights to the film and brought the property to Esmail, according to sources familiar with the situation. UCP and Anonymous Content declined to comment.
“Metropolis,” a landmark and highly influential movie, tells the story of a divided, dystopian city of the future in which a cultural mecca exists above ground while subterranean workers slave away under inhumane conditions. A privileged young man discovers the disparity and becomes determined to help the workers.
The plan is for Esmail to tackle a big-budget series adaptation of “Metropolis” in the same way that he has taken the auteur approach with “Robot,” as showrunner and director of at least a significant number of episodes. But that also means that “Metropolis” is still at least two years away from starting production because Esmail is not expected to try to run both projects simultaneously. A small writers room has been set up to work on “Metropolis,” which has yet to be shopped to TV buyers. THR first reported the “Metropolis” deal.
The second Esmail effort is an adaptation of the podcast “Homecoming.” UCP and Anonymous Content just this week sealed the rights to the fictional podcast about staffers at a secret government agency where some are desperate to rejoin civilian life. The podcast features Catherine Keener, David Schwimmer and Oscar Isaac.
“Homecoming” launched Nov. 16 as a weekly series on the Gimlet Media podcast network founded by Matt Lieber and Alex Blumberg. The TV adaptation is expected to be developed and packaged as a star vehicle before hitting the marketplace. Esmail is expected to have less hands-on involvement in “Homecoming” although he might direct the pilot. Deadline first reported the “Homecoming” deal.