‘Silo’ Is Not Based on ‘City of Ember’ & Here Is Why

Silo and City of Ember posters
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The striking similarity between Apple TV+’s Silo and the 2008 sci-fi movie City Of Ember has left many fans talking on messaging platforms, including Reddit. Both the movie and the series have dystopian themes, with apocalypse survivors living in underground silos. From similarly claustrophobic-looking bunkers to lost histories and corrupt governments, the plots and settings in both instances are strikingly similar, so fans wonder whether Silo is based on the City of Ember.

Despite having so many similarities, including Tim Robbins starring in both the movie and the series, the two have totally different inspirations. City of Ember is based on Jeanne DuPrau’s 2003 novel. Silo, on the other hand, is an adaptation of Hugh Howey’s Wool Trilogy, published between 2011 ad 2013. As for the locations, City Of Ember was filmed in an old shipping yard in Belfast, while Silo was filmed in a converted distribution warehouse in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.

Tim Robbins’ acting in both instances is another coincidence that makes the series look like an extension of the movie. In the City of Ember, an inquisitive protagonist figures out the silo’s lost history and finds a path out of the silo and onto the surface. Juliette Nichols in Silo is very similar to the protagonists in City Of Ember, as she also seeks to discover the silo’s past and secure the occupants’ future, so fans can’t help but wonder whether Silo copied City of Ember.

What is Silo About?

Apple Tv Silo Staircase 1

Silo is a dystopian adventure about a group of 10,000 people living in 144 stories of a mile-deep underground silo in a dystopian future.

They don’t know the history of the Silo and live by a strict set of oppressive rules enforced by a powerful leadership group called Judicial.

The show follows a mechanic called Juliette Nichols, who rises through the ranks to become the Sheriff in the Silo after being nominated by her predecessor, who was banished and sent to the surface.

Nichols is determined to discover the mysteries of The Silo, which leads her to break the rules by investigating multiple relics from the past.

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Nichols is also a strong leader that is determined to keep everyone in The Silo safe and not afraid to oppose the police state that has oppressed people for years.

She understands that figuring out who created the Silo and how it was created is important to figuring out the people’s future since the generator and infrastructure in the underground city cannot last forever.

Her inquisitiveness puts her on a war path with the conservative higher-ups, but she is determined to get to the root of The Silo’s secrets.

What is Silo based on?

The Wool Book Series by Hugh Howey 1

Silo is based on Hugh Howey’s dystopian trilogy, Wool, which includes the ebooks Wool, Shift, and Dust, all self-published on Amazon Kindle.

The series follows the event in the books closely, with Juliette’s rise to the office of Sheriff and eventually mayor being replicated in the series as well.

Despite having many similarities to Jeanne DuPrau’s 2003 novel, The City Of Ember, Hugh Howey was neither inspired by the book nor the movie when writing Wool.

Howey said in an interview that his writing was inspired by news of crime that makes people afraid of the world around them.

“I wanted to write a story about a people terrified of the outside world, where the heroes are the ones brave enough to go out and see for themselves and fight to make the world a better place.”

Is Silo related to City of Ember?

City of Ember vs Silo

Despite the many similarities between the movie and the series, there is no direct correlation between Silo and City of Ember.

Just like in Silo, the earth’s surface in City of Ember is believed to be toxic, but the people in the city have instructions on how to go back to the surface when it is safe.

The instructions were locked in a sealed box programmed to open automatically after 200 years, but the untimely death of the 7th mayor of the city caused the box to be lost.

The movie focuses on the time of revolution 200 after the apocalypse when the protagonist discovers the open box and attempts to find the route to the surface.

In Silo, the route to the surface is known, but going there means certain death, so the occupants must stay trapped inside.

Things only begin to unravel when Juliette Nichols realizes that the creators may exaggerate the toxicity in the region around the silo to keep the occupants inside.

However, the similarities between the movie and the series heavily outweigh the differences.

Tim Robbins coincidentally appears in both City of Ember and Silo, but his characters are not related either.

Loris Harrow, his character in City of Ember, is a protagonist that eventually leads people to the surface, while Bernard Holland in Silo is an antagonist that seeks to maintain the status quo.

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It is not clear whether Graham Yost was inspired by City of Ember while developing the script for the series because the setting inside the Silo is almost similar to the movie, including bunkers.

Juliette Nichols seems to take the same path as City of Ember’s Lina Mayfleet, who found the open box containing the secrets of the underground City.

The slow unfolding of mysteries and the collapse of the police state is another similarity in the plots that fans find interesting.

However, the many similarities are just coincidental since Apple TV+ has never openly declared any connection between Silo and the 2008 movie.

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