METIS is one the first three instruments on the E-ELT. Apart from diffraction limited imaging, METIS will provide coronagraphy and medium resolution slit spectroscopy over the 3 - 19μm range, as well as high resolution (R 100,000) integral field spectroscopy from 2.9 - 5.3μm, including a mode with extended instantaneous wavelength coverage. The unique combination of these observing capabilities, makes METIS the ideal instrument for the study of circumstellar disks and exoplanets, among many other science areas. In this paper we provide an update of the relevant science drivers, the METIS observing modes, the status of the simulator and the data analysis. We discuss the preliminary design of the optical system, which is driven by the need to calibrate observations at thermal IR wavelengths on a six-mirror ELT. We present the expected adaptive optics performance and the measures taken to enable high contrast imaging. We describe the opto-mechanical system, the location of METIS on the Nasmyth instrument platform, and conclude with an update on critical subsystem components, such as the immersed grating and the focal plane detectors. In summary, the work on METIS has taken off well and is on track for first light in 2025.