The Metamorphosis

Adaptations to other media


There are many film versions of the story, mostly short films, including:

  • A 1975 TV version by Jan Němec.
  • A 1977 animation by Caroline Leaf.
  • A 1987 TV movie by Jim Goddard and Steven Berkoff.
  • A 1993 video by Carlos Atanes.
  • In 1995, the actor Peter Capaldi, with his short-film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, tied for an Oscar for Live Action Short Film with Trevor.[10] The plot has the author (played by Richard E. Grant) trying to write the opening line of Metamorphosis and experimenting with various things that Gregor might turn into, such as a banana or a kangaroo. The film is also notable for a number of Kafkaesque moments.
  • A Russian version titled Prevrashchenie (2002) was directed by Valery Fokin, featuring Yevgeny Mironov as Gregor.[11]
  • A 2004 Spanish short film directed by Fran Estévez in 35mm b&w and color film.
  • Chris Swanton's film Metamorphosis (2012), starring Maureen Lipman, Robert Pugh, and Alistair Petrieis the first English, feature-length adaptation of the story.
  • A Bulgarian interpretation titled Die Verwandlung (2013)[12]


  • In the Simpsons book Treehouse of Horror Spook-tacular, Matt Groening included a spoof of The Metamorphosis, entitled "Metamorphosimpsons".
  • Jacob M. Appel's Scouting for the Reaper contains a telling of the novella in which a rabbi attempts to arrange a "proper Jewish burial" for Gregor.[13]
  • Lance Olsen's book, Anxious Pleasures: A Novel After Kafka, retells Kafka's novella from the points of view of those inside his family and out.
  • American cartoonist Robert Crumb drew a comic adaptation of the novella, which is included in the 1993 book Introducing Kafka, an illustrated biography of Kafka also known as Kafka for Beginners, R. Crumb's Kafka, or simply Kafka.
  • American comic artist Peter Kuper illustrated a graphic-novel version, first published by the Crown Publishing Group in 2003.[14]
  • Marc Estrin's debut surrealist novel, Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa (2002),[15] "resurrects Kafka's half-cockroach Gregor character"[16] vis-à-vis the world between 1915 and 1945.
  • East Press published a manga version of the story in 2008 as part of their Manga de Dokuha line.[17]
  • 2007's Kockroach, by William Lashner under the name "Tyler Knox", inverts the premise by transforming a cockroach into a human; Lashner has stated that the Metamorphosis is "the obvious starting point for" Kockroach, and that his choice of pseudonym was made in honor of Josef K (of Kafka's the Trial).[18]

Stage and opera

  • Steven Berkoff performed a stage adaptation in 1969. Berkoff's text was also used for the libretto to Brian Howard's 1983 opera Metamorphosis.[19]
  • Another stage adaptation was performed in 2006 as a co-production between the Icelandic company Vesturport and the Lyric Hammersmith, adapted and directed by Gísli Örn Garðarsson and David Farr, with a music soundtrack performed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.[20] It was also performed at the Sydney Theatre Company as part of a world tour in 2009[21] and returned to the Lyric Hammersmith in January 2013, starring Garðarsson as Gregor Samsa.
  • An adapted stage production was devised and directed by Samara Hersch as part of the Helium Season for The Malthouse Theatre in October 2014.


  • In Home Movies episode 1.06, "Director's Cut", Brendon and the crew produce a rock opera musical adaptation of the novel.
  • In the animated cartoon series, The Real Ghostbusters, the episode, "Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster," by Michael Reaves, has the Ghostbusters' receptionist, Janine Melnitz, running off a list of calls about supernatural menaces; she concludes with "Some guy named Samsa said he's been possessed by a giant cockroach." In the 1997 animated follow-up series, Extreme Ghostbusters, an episode titled "The Crawler" depicts a reawakened demon, a giant insectoid creature who assumes human form, giving himself the name Gregor Samsa.


  • A radio drama, combining Metamorphosis with Dr. Seuss and performed by Jonathan Goldstein and Mira Burt-Wintonick with Cristal Duhaime, was broadcast in 2008, on CBC Radio One's program Wiretap in 2008.[22] In 2012, it was broadcast on This American Life[23]
  • In 2015, BBC Radio 4 adapted the novella for radio to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its publication with the story being read by actor Benedict Cumberbatch.[24]

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