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Megalopolis - Francis Ford Coppola

  • 12-05-2022 11:32pm
    Registered Users Posts: 60,415 ✭✭✭✭

    Francis Ford Coppola's 20 years in the making self funded with his entire fortune has found its cast.

    Francis Coppola Sets ‘Megalopolis’ Cast: Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jon Voight & Filmmaker’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ Teen Discovery Laurence Fishburne

    Coppola is directing the independently-financed film from his own script. Here’s how he is describing the contemporary drama: The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius, and conflicted love. The budget will be just under $100 million, and production begins this fall. Distribution rights are being brokered by attorney Barry Hirsch.

    Deadline has written often about Coppola’s final dream project, a struggle to create a utopia after an accident leaves a New York-like city in need of a rebuild. Coppola has won five Oscars for his work, and he believes that the films of his that stand up best over time, are the ones that seemed riskiest when he made them. This one he puts closest to Apocalypse Now, a film many believed would ruin him as he was making it. Coppola wound up owning it because nobody else would give him the money, and it has poured off a fortune over the years. The 83-year old filmmaker and wine entrepreneur has lofty aspirations for Megalopolis, but his goal is not profits or accolades, but rather something he can leave behind for future generations that reflect his optimism for the potential mankind has, even as social media, polarized politics and many other things have some fearing a kind of fall of the Roman Empire. He sold a piece of his wine empire to make it possible to get the credit line to do this.

    Here is what Coppola told Deadline in a recent interview: “What would make me really happy? It’s not winning a lot of Oscars because I already have a lot and maybe more than I deserve. And it’s not that I make a lot of money, although I think over time it will make a lot of money because anything that the people keep looking at and finding new things, that makes money. So somewhere down the line, way after I’m gone, all I want is for them to discuss [Megalopolis] and, is the society we’re living in the only one available to us? How can we make it better? Education, mental health? What the movie really is proposing is that utopia is not a place. It’s how can we make everything better? Every year, come up with two, three or four ideas that make it better. I would be smiling in my grave if I thought something like that happened, because people talk about what movies really mean if you give them something. If you encouraged people to discuss marriage and education and health and justice and opportunities and freedom and all these wonderful things that human beings have conceived of. And ask the question, how can we make it even better? That would be great. Because I bet you they would make it better if they had that conversation.”

    As for a financial risk most filmmakers would loath to take on themselves, Coppola has made and lost fortunes before, and between his moviemaking and wine businesses, he has a chip pile higher than most. So he is not as worried about losing some of that, as he would be if he left his dream project on a shelf.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60,415 ✭✭✭✭Agent Coulson

    It will debut at Cannes this year in the gala premiere slot on the Palais on Friday evening May 17

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    It's also failing to find a distributor. Despite being almost entirely self funded nobody wants to touch it. It's not helped by the fact Coppola wants a $100 million spend on marketing, which is kind of insane. As the article notes A24 or Neon are both obvious distributors here but they'd not have the pockets to fund that kind of marketing sped.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,608 ✭✭✭✭Osmosis Jones

    It's a bit crazy from him but it's also sad to see someone like Coppola not getting funded.

    There's news recently of David Lynch trying to get an animated feature greenlit by Netflix but they weren't going for it. When you see some of the stuff that does get made and released it's just sad to see great artists struggle to get their art made.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,168 ✭✭✭The White Wolf

    First image is in the below article for anyone interested. I read that article from a couple of weeks back where insiders spoiled some of the issues....and I can't say I blame the Studios for being hesitant. That being said, the idea of it not being picked up feels unthinkable in a way, Coppola will have to compromise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60,415 ✭✭✭✭Agent Coulson

    I really hope this does get a big screen release it would be a shame if it just ends up on a streaming platform.

    Maybe Apple will pick it up and give it a limited big screen release before it hits streaming having thrown big money at other directors in their 80's in Scorsese & Scott in the last year.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 60,415 ✭✭✭✭Agent Coulson

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,208 ✭✭✭✭~Rebel~

    Perhaps unintentional shades of The Hudsucker Proxy there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,331 ✭✭✭✭ArmaniJeanss

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,198 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    And here’s the actual trailer (as opposed to the clip).

    I would say odds are there it’s going to be a real mess, but can’t help but root for it to be at least an interesting mess (although also noting some of the alleged questionable behaviour by Coppola noted in The Guardian article). Certainly boasts some striking if rather… on-the-nose imagery (exhausted lady justice statue, anyone?). Though sounds like a lot of it was made up in post, which doesn’t bode super well. We’ll hear critics give their impressions after its Cannes premiere on Friday.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,168 ✭✭✭The White Wolf

    While I've no doubt Coppola has a waft of airs about him to the point that he purchased that motel, I have to baulk at the mentality of "we could have done this in 10 minutes digitally." Some of these crew members seem to have a waft of privilege radiating from them so they shouldn't be throwing stones.

    Dracula 1992 is still one of my favourite films to this day, and Coppola used the same methods on that film. Based on Coppola's response to dealing with dissenting voices back in 1992, I'm surprised he just didn't fire these people.

    Maybe they should of went to work for Disney instead.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,005 ✭✭✭TheIrishGrover

    The trailer's a bit on the nose, especially given current climate in the US and I find Coppola hit-or-miss. While I loved The Godfather Part 1 & 2 I found Apocalypse Now to be overrated (I realise I'm in the minority there). And I'm always wary of "Passion Projects" Especially if they have been gestating for many years. They tend to morph over the years and end up confused and bloated. I remember this being mentioned alongside Kubrick's treatment of "Supertoys last all summer long" which became Spielberg's "A.I", Scorsese was working on The Irishman for years also. A director needs a good producer and editor to keep them in check. Witness the tightness of the first Matrix movie over the "Have all the money and control you want" of the sequels. Even the Lord of The Rings trilogy, while three movies with decent running time, (Original cuts) may not seem "tight", they were laser-focussed compared to the god-awful plasticky Hobbit movies. And as directors

    Im sure every director has a "Passion Project" that may or may not be actually a decent film And it's not that it's particularly that generation of directors (Scorsese, Coppola, DePalma, Spielberg, Lucas etc). It's just that that particular generation of directors is still on the go. I'm sure, 30 years from now, Zach Snyder will want to release a bloated, confused, pointless 2-movie Seven Samurai ripoff……

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,198 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Reviews predictably say it’s an ungodly mess, with various positive and negative variations on how successful it is in its messiness.

    This is basically what I’m expecting: