Fritz Lang's science-fiction classic Metropolis is set for a 21st century remake, thanks to producers Thomas Schuely and Mario Kassar.

The influential 1927 film was set in 2027 and told of a dystopian future in which the human race is divided into the thinking classes who live in luxury above the ground while the producing classes are responsible for society's work and live under the surface of the Earth.

A paean against capitalism, Lang's movie changed the landscape of science-fiction cinema and is listed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's World Register as part of Germany's documentary heritage.

Alexander producer Schuely has now acquired the rights to update the silent masterpiece.

"With the overwhelming role technology plays in our daily lives, the growing gap between rich and poor, including the gradual elimination of the middle class, the story of Metropolis is a frightening reflection of our society that takes place in an all too possible not too distant future," he told Variety.

Schuely told the industry newspaper he is negotiating with some of the world's biggest directors to helm the picture, which should begin shooting in 2008.

The movie was one of the most expensive films of all time when it was made, costing its makers an estimated 5.1 million Reichsmarks - representing over £96 million in today's money.

11/12/2007 11:57:16