NBCUniversal has just announced that filming for their upcoming sci-fi television series Metropolis will take place in Melbourne, Australia. The project is the biggest ever to be produced in the Australian state of Victoria. The new Metropolis series comes from director and showrunner Sam Esmail, who previously worked on Mr Robot and Homecoming. The Metropolis series is the first of several projects that have been attracted to Melbourne because of VicScreen’s Victorian Screen Incentive grant as well as the Australian Government’s Location Incentive. Metropolis comes after several other successful projects that have been filmed in Victoria. These projects include NBCU’s La Brea and Clickbait, which was very successful on Netflix.
The upcoming series is inspired by the iconic 1927 Fritz Lang film, Metropolis. Lang‘s Metropolis is one of the foundational pieces of modern film. Produced during the Weimar era in Germany, the film depicts a futuristic dystopia in which Industrialists and business magnates live in towering skyscrapers, while the underclasses work in the churning hell of the underground, powering the city above them. A commentary on class and humanity in general, the film’s message is perhaps more relevant now than ever before.
Beyond the plot of Metropolis, the technology behind it is also impressive. The Federal and Victorian Governments of Australia are supporting the infrastructure of their film industry, with new cutting edge virtual production technology set to be built in Melbourne. One of the many projects included in this plan is one of the largest permanent ‘LED volumes’ in the world, a technology that the production of Metropolis will utilize. LED volumes are an immersive virtual production tool that has perhaps most famously been used in such projects as the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, allowing the team to project virtual backgrounds behind performers in real time.
Danny Pearson, Minister for Creative Industries said of Victoria’s burgeoning film industry, “[w]ith this industry-leading infrastructure capability, we’re putting Victoria at the forefront of the global screen industry. Together with the recent addition of our new super sound stage, this will make Victoria the go-to place for ambitious screen productions.”
Caroline Pitcher, CEO of VicScreen added, “Metropolis is set to be one of the most technically ambitious screen productions in the world, and the state-of-the-art infrastructure being built right here, along with our outstanding crew and locations, truly places Melbourne amongst the world’s great screen production cities.”
“Australia’s strong history and reputation in visual effects and equally strong record in game development, is well-placed to take a world-leading position in the application of virtual production technology,” said Matt Vitins, Chief Operating Officer of Matchbox Pictures.
No other production details have yet been released regarding the project, which has not yet started filming. The series will utilize virtual production technology to achieve its futuristic effects for the project. It’s not known if the series will use the same visual style as the original film.
Metropolis currently has no scheduled release date.