Francis Ford Coppola still hopes to direct his pharaonic film “Megalopolis”

The director of “The Godfather” has confirmed his intention to put into images a forty-year-old idea. Even if it means paying $120 million himself.

It sounds like the Napoleon ever produced by Stanley Kubrick, or as The Siege of Leningrad by Sergio Leone: outsized projects, lifetime projects for seasoned filmmakers, which will never see the light of day. Megalopolis, by Francis Ford Coppola, is so far part of this accursed cohort. However, in a recent interview given to QGthe New York director persists and signs: he wants to shoot.

Started in the 80s, the scenario remains unclear. He would describe a love story in a big city, a megalopolis that would give the film its name. “A new Rome”, for Coppola, renewed in our time. But beyond the intrigues, the project will have to open the horizon of its spectators.

“At the New Year, rather than discussing the fact that you have stopped carbohydrates, I would like to discuss a question, which is the following: is the society in which we live the only one within our reach? And let’s discuss it.”

A long succession of commercial failures

The excess of the subject is commensurate with the difficulties experienced by Francis Ford Coppola to have it financed. Already leaving at the end of the 80s, he had to wait. In 2000, it was rumored that the film was going to find its financing, before September 11 did not tip things over in the wrong direction for the Italian-American.

He continues to maintain stormy relations with the financiers of the Californian hills.

“When I had won five Oscars and was the hottest director in town, I was walking around with Apocalypse Now under the arm saying that I would like to do this next. But I ownApocalypse Now. And do you know why? Because nobody wanted it. So you can imagine how the studios react now, seeing how they reacted when I had won everything and broken all the records”, he underlines to QG.

While Hollywood had opened its doors to him in 1972 to The Godfather and for its sequel in 1974, the monument of cinema once again enjoyed success with Secret Conversation the same year, winning a Palme d’Or. But the failure of his screenplay for Gatsby the magnificent and the excessive ambition shown for Apocalypse Now keep it away from funding.

He will thus pay for his films himself: after the success of his adaptation of Konradhe realises Falling for something in 1982, via his personal production company, American Zoetrope, set up with George Lucas in 1969. The film, a huge commercial failure, despite one of the largest budgets in history, will ruin him.

Self-financing of 120 million dollars

Not enough to calm Francis Ford Coppola, who intends to give life to Megalopolis: he announced that he wanted to invest 120 million dollars, drawn from his own money. It must be said that the man made his fortune again, in the vineyard this time. He bought his first parcels in 1973, and expanded his estate to produce luxury wines in California.

At 82, the artist and father of two directors, Sofia and Roman, is therefore on track to reach the goal. “I’m dedicated to making this movie, I’d like to do it in the fall of 2022,” he said last year.

He would have contacted several actors for a luxury casting: Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Forest Whitaker, Jon Voight, James Caan… Whitaker would be approached for the role of a politician, and Isaac for that of an architect, responsible for city ​​projects. Cate Blanchett, who is also part of the short listhinted at a concrete start of the project, in January in a interview for variety.

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Francis Ford Coppola still hopes to direct his pharaonic film “Megalopolis”