Swedishproduction outfit Atmo and Lars Von Trier's Zentropa are partneringon an unusual new cartoon venture - an adult-themed, English-language animatedsatire which promises to lay bare the political tensions at the heart of modernEurope.

Metro, asthe animated feature is called, is written and directed by TarikSaleh (whose Guantanamo Bay documentary Gitmo received its world premiereat the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) last month. It is adystopian sci-fi fantasy set in the near future. As oil runs out and Europe succumbs to the twin threats ofterrorism and pollution, the European population is forced to travel on anetwork of underground trains. These are controlled by an evil financier whotakes advantage of the break-up of the EU to set up his own all-powerfulbusiness empire.

Producer Kristina Åberg envisages that production will begin in early 2006,with delivery two years later. It is yet to be decided whether Trust (whohandle sales on most Zentropa projects) willrepresent the film internationally. The $4m (3.4m Euro) feature will use a newanimated technique using software like After Effects and Photoshop and thenblowing up the computer files to 35mm.

To do an animated film forgrown-ups, we're going to have to have a totally different style,"writer-director Saleh told ScreenDaily.com. "Thiswill be very subtle."

Saleh suggested that the film will havesome overlaps with the world he and co-director Erik Gandinishowed in Gitmo.

When I was in the Pentagon withErik filming Gitmo,I realised the world I am trying to create in Metro is far less scary than the real world. Animation is acaricature of real life, but how do you do that when real life is so sinister'"

The animation will be done primarilythrough Atmo Animation Studio in Sweden. Some of the animation will also bedone in Denmark. The project was pitched at theForum for European Animation Films in Potsdam earlier this year.

Erik Gandini,Tarik SalehandKristina Åberg were among the co-founders ofStockholm-based Atmo in the spring of 2000.