For D.B. Weiss, co-creator of Game of Thrones, telling stories in reality are much more intimidating than bringing a fantasy land to life. “If you’re dealing with reality, it’s so much easier to get things wrong,” Weiss mentions of the university-set series. “Nobody can really say, ‘No one would ever have those shoes in Westeros,’ because there is no Westeros. If something’s not working, you can’t say a giant visual-effects extravaganza is gonna come along in five minutes to wipe their memory of that scene. Those giant, horrible, wonderful artificial creations aren’t there to save you.”
This pressure is apparent for Metal Lords which is coming to Netflix April 8. The film is set at a modern-day high school where the only two kids obsessed with heavy metal music hope to form a band to win the forthcoming Battle of the Bands. Weiss credits his trio of leads: Jaeden Martell from It and Knives Out, Adrian Greensmith, and Isis Hainsworth from Emma and Wanderlust). “The more grounded something is, the more it is just about the human beings at the center of it,” Weiss tells EW, who debuted first looks into images from the upcoming film. “They really held down that part of the movie in a way that was insanely impressive to me.”
In Metal Lords, Greensmith’s Hunter and Martell’s Kevin are best friends who are outcasts in their school. Hunter idolizes death metal bands Anthrax, Megadeth, Slipknot, and Black Sabbath. Their music provides an outlet from bullies and a distant father. The two form a band, SkullF—er. They need a bassist to complete their group, if they want to compete in the Battle of the Bands. In comes Hainsworth’s Emily, a classically trained cellist with a lot of rage packed inside.
Metal Lords is part of a new deal between Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and the streamer, where they are set to develop a wide breadth of stories, the first being The Chair starring Sandra Oh. Weiss originally planned to make Metal Lords years earlier with producer Greg Shapiro, who would go on to win an Oscar for The Hurt Locker in 2010. But then HBO hired him and Benioff to make Game of Thrones. It was only in 2019 after the duo’s deal with Netflix that Weiss had the opportunity to revisit the concept. “Fantasy is about the power,” said Weiss, “It’s re-conceiving yourself as a larger-than-life heroic figure.”
Metal Lords premieres directly on Netflix on Friday, April 8th. Check out EW’s exclusive first looks into the metal high school film.