Breathtaking bets on his vision established him as one of the greatest living American filmmakers and a vineyard magnate. Now, Francis Coppola is ready to put a lot of his hard won chips on the table one more time to make his epic dream project, Megalopolis.
While the financial configuration is still evolving, Coppola at 82 years young is betting big on himself once again, by sharing the financial risks of a film that will cost between $100 million and $120 million. He is in deep discussions with a stellar cast of actors eager to work with the director of The Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now!, The Conversation and other classics, on a seminal picture that is decades in the making.
This is a project that Coppola, one of the most successful directors of all time, has been working on for over 20 years. The movie follows an architect that is trying to turn NYC into a utopia during the cities reconstruction after a mega-disaster. The architect is at odds with the Mayor, who uses dirty politics and the mob to stop him. Coppola has said that it is inspired by Roman history, specifically Cicero. He originally got the gears rolling on this in 2001, but it understandably got hit with a harrrrrd stop after 9/11.
According to this article, there are some big names being floated around for this including Oscar Isaac, Forest Whitaker, Cate Blanchett, Zendaya and James Caan. You may remember that Oscar Isaac is actually slated to play Coppola in a drama about the making of the Godfather. Can't imagine much better research for Isaac than this!
Coppola is a strong believer in this movie, so much so that he said he is willing to put up around $100 million of his own money to make it happen. He recently sold a big portion of his vineyard holdings, which is presumably part of the bank this will be built on. Like this article says, he is a guy who is used to betting on himself. Sometimes it hasn't panned out like in 'One From the Heart', which forced him into bankruptcy. But sometimes, like with 'Apocalypse Now', it did.
The big question on my mind is simple: Will this be good? Personally, he hasn't made a movie that I've liked since 'The Rainmaker', and that movie is almost as old as I am. I respect the legend while also remaining hesitant as to what he has in the tank. However, the cast he is in talks with is awesome, so that is a plus. The fact that he is so passionate about getting this made and has had this long to think on it? Plus! The concept of a Roman epic being applied to modern day? Plus!
Time will tell, but I have cautious optimism for this project.