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Everything We Know About Coppola’s Megalopolis

The photo of a metropolis with two women, Giancarlo Esposito and Adam Driver in front of it, meant to represent the film Megalopolis

Francis Ford Coppola is coming back to the big screen with his newest film Megalopolis. Here’s everything we know about the movie!

Premiering at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, Megalopolis is set out to mark Francis Ford Coppola’s return to the big screen, more than a decade after his last film, Twixt, came out in cinemas in 2011. With an exciting ensemble cast of famous Hollywood A-listers and one of the greatest directors of modern-day cinema, Megalopolis is easily one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Despite having been in the works for many years, there is little information available about the film, but here’s everything we know about it!

Megalopolis: The Basic Info

When it comes to run time, audiences will be happy to know that Megalopolis will be two hours and 13 minutes long, not including the credits, which is remarkably brief for Coppola’s usual lengthy films. The movie is set to premiere on May 17, 2024 at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, where it will also compete for the Palme d’Or. Megalopolis has now set a deal with the Paris-based company Le Pacte for its French distribution. However, Coppola’s film does not have a release date in the US or the UK yet. As of right now, it has not yet found a distributor for US and international markets, but both Apple and Amazon are reportedly interested.

Everything We Know About Megalopolis – The “first look” clip of the movie (Francis Ford Coppola)

Everything We Know About the Plot of Megalopolis

According to Coppola, the film is based on the second Catiline Conspiracy, an attempted coup d’état that took place in ancient Rome in 63 BC. It saw Roman senator Lucius Sergius Catilina attempt to overthrow Marcus Tullius Cicero, one of the most influential politicians of the time. But Megalopolis will be set in modern-day America, in the titular Megalopolis, a New York City-like metropolis that has been destructed by an accident. With the future of the city uncertain, the film shows us the debate between Cesar, an ambitious architectural idealist who wants to build a utopia with renewable materials, and his sworn enemy, city mayor Frank Cicero, who is determined to maintain a business model that hurts the underclass.  

The Cast: Who’s In Megalopolis?

The casting of the movie went through multiple changes, with initial discussions that saw Jude Law and Shia LaBeouf in the lead roles before the current cast was chosen. Adam Driver will star as Caesar in Megalopolis. Opposite him is Frank Cicero, played by Giancarlo Esposito, whom viewers will know for movies like Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X or, more recently, the show The Mandalorian, for which he received an Emmy nomination. In the middle of this debate is Julia, Frank’s daughter, who is portrayed by Game of Thrones’ alumna Nathalie Emmanuel. The cast also features many other famous names, including Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, and Dustin Hoffman.

Everything We Know About Megalopolis – The teaser trailer of the movie (Francis Ford Coppola)

The Production

Megalopolis has been a long time coming. Coppola first had the idea of the film in 1979 while filming Apocalypse Now. The director actively started working on it in 1983, when he began to write the screenplay. He used Catiline, Rome as a backdrop for the film, as, at the time, it was going to take place in New York City over the course of one day. After years of delays and cancellations, Coppola abandoned the project for a long time, until he was finally able to film Megalopolis from November 2022 to March 2023. This marks the longest gap between his movies, as his last directorial effort was in 2011, with Twixt.

The Cost

Admittedly, one of the reasons why it was so difficult for Coppola to get Megalopolis made was the cost. Despite feeling good about the script he wrote, in 2009 the director was not hopeful to see his film made because of the high budget involved. After the success of his winery and resort company, Coppola could now invest his own money to produce this movie himself. He revived the project in 2019, spending $120 million of his own money to make what is now considered by many to be his longtime passion project. This froze him, as it also meant he would have to do exactly what he wanted with it.

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The Initial Reactions to Megalopolis

While Megalopolis has not premiered yet, some people have already seen it. An early screening for buyers and distributors revealed a divisive reception amongst its small initial audience. Most initial reactions seem to be either mixed or of generational confusion, as the film seems to want to tackle too many ideas of varying complexity. Shia LaBeouf’s performance as one of the antagonists was particularly praised. Interestingly, Coppola himself commented on these reactions, saying that the “contradicting” comments made about the film seem to mirror the initial reception of Apocalypse Now.

With no trailer out and very little information on the film, it is definitely too early for the rest of us to make up our minds about Megalopolis. But, from everything we do know, it seems like an exciting project that Coppola fans will undoubtedly want to know more about. After all, with such a famous and prominent director as Coppola, it is exciting for us to see him finally get to do his passion project. Will the film remind us of Coppola’s greatest movies? Only time will tell.

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