RETURN TO METROPOLIS
METROPOLIS is a German expressionist epic science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang. It was written by Lang and his wife, Thea von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav Frohlich, Afred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. It was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by UFA.
“I first saw the film in 1970 at the World Science Fiction Convention,” relates Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor, Ron Fortier. “I’d heard about it most of my life, but finally getting to see it was a revelation. I was stunned at what Lang had been able to achieve at what was the early days of film development.”
METROPOLIS is regarded as a pioneer work of science fiction movies, being the first feature-length movie of the genre. Made in Germany during the Weimar Period, METROPOLIS is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city’s Boss, and Maria, a teacher and champion of the workers, to overcome the gulf separating the classes of their city. Filmed in 1925, at a cost of approximately five million Reichsmarks, it was the most expensive film ever released up to that point.
“Over the years,” continues Fortier, “I’ve always wanted to revisit Lang’s amazing City of Tomorrow and always imagined there were many more stories left to be told. Whereas the film’s tale does reach the fitting climax to its own plot, what of the time prior to its events? Where did Maria come from? Who were her teachers? The film hints at a past friendship between the Boss and the mad-scientist, Rotwang. These were the stories I wanted to unearth.”
TOWERS OF METROPOLIS will feature four new tales that will address those kinds of questions. The contributors include New Pulp writers Michael Panush, Kevin Noel Olson, James Palmer and William Patrick Maynard. The book will have a new cover by life-long METROPOLIS fan, artist Michael Kaluta, with amazing interiors illustrations by Paul Allan Ballard, another huge METROPOLIS enthusiast. (See attached work in progess.)
“To call TOWERS OF METROPOLIS a labor of love by all involved, would be the biggest understatement of all time,” Fortier concludes. “Our goal is nothing less than an epic volume that will add to the wonder and mythos of this classic film.”
Airship 27 Productions plans to release TOWERS OF METROPOLIS at the end of the year.