The great Francis Ford Coppola would like to end his career on a big blow. The filmmaker would indeed like to relaunch one of his long-standing projects: “Megalopolis”. And for that, he is ready to invest all his personal fortune.
What’s this Megalopolis ?
Megalopolis is Francis Ford Coppola’s great never-ending project. The project of a lifetime. A feature film with disproportionate ambition that has been gathering dust in the drawers for years now. On paper, Megalopolis is a science fiction film influenced by novelist Ayn Rand, famous for dystopian works like Atlas Shrugged Where The Fountainhead. Megalopolis takes place in a New York City trying to rebuild itself after an unprecedented cataclysm. The story is meant to follow an architect who tries to rebuild a small town called Cityworld in central New York. Unfortunately for Francis Ford Coppola, he never managed to finance this totally crazy project. Today, he tries to restart the machine, by his own means!
Megalopolis : the project has started again!
According to Deadline, Francis Ford Coppola would be on the way to relaunch Megalopolis. The filmmaker, to whom we owe immense masterpieces such as The Godfather Where Apocalypse Now has therefore not given up on his crazy project. Unfortunately for him, no studio is ready to invest money in this project. Francis Ford Coppola hasn’t toured for ten years, and his latest film, Twixt, has been a commercial and critical flop. The director is therefore on his own and is ready to invest a huge part of his fortune to finance himself Megalopolis. Apparently he’s talking about a budget of $ 100 to $ 120 million. The filmmaker even already has an idea of casting in mind since he would have approached Oscar Isaac to star. He would also have contacted Forest Whitaker, Cate Blanchett, Jon Voight, Zendaya, Michelle Pfeiffer or James Caan.
Francis Ford Coppola seems more motivated than ever to achieve Megalopolis, even without the help of the studios. It is in any case the impression that he gave to the microphone of Deadline :
I have made a commitment to make this film, I would like to shoot it in the fall of 2022. Not all of my casting is validated, but I have enough to make sure it will be an exciting cast. The film will cost between $ 100 and $ 120 million. But obviously I would prefer it to be closer to 100
The director also reacted to the silence of the studios vis-à-vis his project.. He pointed out in particular the current functioning of American studios, who prefer to produce calibrated films, without really taking any risks:
Everyone wants to make the next Marvel, but nobody wants to make a movie that really gives hope to the youth, where we’re ready to come together and solve whatever problem comes our way. That’s what I believe and that will be the real theme of the film. It’s time for us to realize that the society we live in is not the only alternative available to us
A peplum in the line of Cecil B. DeMille
Then, to conclude his intervention concerning Megalopolis, Francis Ford Coppola gave some clues about the tone, content and style of his work. In particular, he compared the project to the peplums of yesteryear by Cecil B. DeMille:
It’s a peplum, in the traditional style of Cecil B. DeMille or Ben-Hur, but nowadays and centered in America. It is based on the conspiracy of Catiline, which comes from ancient Rome. It was a famous duel between a patrician, role which will be played by Oscar Isaac, and the famous Cicero, which will be played by Forest Whitaker. He will be the cornered mayor of New York, in the midst of the financial crisis. His character will be inspired by David Dinkins, who was mayor of the Big Apple in the early 1990s. The story does not take place in a specific time, it is a vision of modern New York, which I call New Rome.
It remains to be seen whether Francis Ford Coppola will succeed in this crazy bet. Today aged 82 years old, difficult to know if the filmmaker will have the time and energy to finish Megalopolis. In the meantime, Francis Ford Coppola fans can wait while seeing the new director’s cut version of The Godfather 3, titled The Death of Michael Corleone, more in keeping with his personal vision, and available on Blu-ray and DVD.