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Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

Old 04-03-19, 08:54 PM
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Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of his 80th birthday, Francis Ford Coppola is ready to embark on one of his dream projects. He plans to direct Megalopolis, a sprawling film as ambitious as Apocalypse Now, that he has been plotting for many years. Coppola revealed this to me today. He has his script, and he has begun speaking informally to potential stars. I’ve heard Jude Law’s name among those who might potentially be in the movie. I have much to report about Coppola’s dream project, and I got to view some of the second unit footage he shot after announcing the project in Cannes, before the terror attacks of 9/11 — the film is set in New York and is an architect’s attempt to create a utopia in the city, combated by the mayor — ground progress on the film to a halt.

“So yes, I plan this year to begin my longstanding ambition to make a major work utilizing all I have learned during my long career, beginning at age 16 doing theater, and that will be an epic on a grand scale, which I’ve entitled Megalopolis,” Coppola told me today. “It is unusual; it will be a production on a grand scale with a large cast. It makes use of all of my years of trying films in different styles and types culminating in what I think is my own voice and aspiration. It is not within the mainstream of what is produced now, but I am intending and wishing and in fact encouraged, to begin production this year.”
https://deadline.com/2019/04/francis...ar-1202588167/
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Old 04-03-19, 09:30 PM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

I hope we get to see it. I remember when they broke into his American Zoetrope studios in Argentina and stole the script and other things - that killed the momentum on the project and that was a long ass time ago. Before Tetro, I think.
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Old 04-04-19, 12:26 AM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

Very interesting...I was unaware of this project.
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Old 04-04-19, 04:10 AM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

This is quite possibly the most exciting film announcement for me in a decade. I'm a huge Coppola fan. While I won't argue that the 70's were Coppola at his absolute peak, I've never bought into this too often repeated narrative that he hasn't made anything good since then. The Rain People, One From the Heart, Rumble Fish, The Outsiders, Dracula and Godfather III are all wonderful films. Even films like Peggy Sue Got Married, Gardens of Stone, Tucker The Man and His Dream and The Rainmaker are pretty good. Then when he staged his mini comeback over a decade ago, no one paid him any attention and wrote him off, even though Youth Without Youth was good, Twixt was very good and Tetro was a damn near masterpiece. I was worried he would never make another film after those 3 all flopped. Even though he'd been talking about Megalopolis for decades, I thought it would never happen. I really, really hope it puts an exclamation point on his great career and he can ride off into the sunset as well as John Huston or Krzysztof Kieslowski did.
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Old 04-04-19, 08:32 AM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

Originally Posted by Hazel Motes View Post
Youth Without Youth was good, Twixt was very good and Tetro was a damn near masterpiece.
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Old 04-04-19, 05:52 PM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

My recollection is that he lost the script to this. It sounds comical, but I remember reading around 2005 that he kept the script on a thumb drive that he wore around his neck. And he lost it. Was that not true?
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Old 04-05-19, 01:13 AM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
My recollection is that he lost the script to this. It sounds comical, but I remember reading around 2005 that he kept the script on a thumb drive that he wore around his neck. And he lost it. Was that not true?
That right there is enough material to make a movie.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:33 AM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

Few unmade movies have intrigued with possibilities than Megalopolis. And now you are ready to come back and make your first big-scale film in decades…

At this age, I have to tell you, I am more enthusiastic and excited about the cinema and what it means and what it can be and even with all of the new digital aspects of it, which I think are being misused. As for Megalopolis… Well, it looks good. I mean, we made the offer now to several actors. I can’t say they’ve accepted, but they were very enthusiastic. One of them is Jude Law and another Shia LaBeouf. I may shortly have my lead actress. The whole world of casting is so different today—when you invite an actor to read a script, right away they want an offer to go with it, when sometimes you just want to get together with them and see if they’re the right choice. Right now I have several enthusiastic people.

I don’t have any official backers. I have a sort of philosophy of how to do it, and it’s not dissimilar to how I did Apocalypse Now, where I line up a whole bunch of territories and I put it together with the bank. In one case, one of these technology companies… I can’t say which one. But as you know, in the next five years the whole film industry is going to be owned by Apple, Facebook, Amazon. One of those newly emerged media giants is intrigued by the idea.

I am so used to living with unsure situations that I don’t know that I’ll ever in my lifetime have a sure situation. Studios pretty much don’t do these movies any more. Even when they do, they don’t finance them. I’ll use the complicated formula that I used for Apocalypse, which I turned over to my good friend George Lucas and he then used for Star Wars.

How best to describe the ambition behind the new movie? I’ve heard you had hundreds of pages written, and shot second unit.

Basically, what it does is it takes a Roman epic based on real things that happened 2,000 years ago, because really America is like the modern historical counterpart of Rome. We’re just like Rome. We’re practical. We’re good engineers. We have project power. That’s what Rome had, so I sort of thought America was the modern Rome and therefore, if I set this particular story that’s a famous Roman thing in modern Manhattan, it sort of worked a little bit.

There is an accident, and you have an architect trying to rebuild the city as a utopia. And a mayor trying to stop him…

Utopia in Greek means the place that doesn’t exist. Personally, and I say this with great sincerity, I believe it can exist. I believe in the genius of the human species in its ability to come up with solutions to all of the problems that plague us. But the biggest problem of all is to get those people out of the way who like it the way it is, because they’re already in a perfect situation. In other words, there’s already a whole group that control petroleum so they’re never going to get rid of petroleum.

Self-interested, wealthy people…

But we have the genius to make a society. The script talks about what that society is like. My movie was about utopia. You know, like so many films today, Mad Max and everything, the future—even in some of the gorgeous films—is always a terrible place. To me, when I was a kid and saw The Shape of Things to Come, the future was a great thing. It’s what we all wish it could be. When I went to Disneyland I remember the thing that just knocked me out was the Monsanto Home of the Future. I wanted to live in that house. People get scared and worried about A.I. and that’s how certain people gain power. Now, that’s with self-driving trucks that supposedly will put people out of work. But they don’t say the other half, which is that maybe more people will become paid citizens who’ll get out of employment. You’ll get a check not as a worker but as a shareholder of the country. Why shouldn’t you get $70,000 a year as a dividend from the great wealth of our beautiful country? You could if some people don’t gobble it all up for themselves. So in other words, the fear of losing work isn’t the issue, because you’ll be able to do the work you love. That’s what my script explores.

I was shooting the second unit in New York, and we get attacked by Islamic terrorists. My movie is all about New York as the center of the world, but how do you make a movie about the center of the world without it dealing with the fact that, right in the heart of it, it was attacked and thousands of people were killed? How do you make a movie of utopia with that history?

So I tried. I wrote, I wrote and finally I abandoned it and then later on I went into a new way of thinking, and worked on that. I wasn’t fully confident, but then I lost weight and it felt like time.

I looked at some of the tests and some of the readings of actors for Megalopolis and I said that same fatal thing; it wasn’t as bad as I thought. There was something here. So I began to become excited about it again. I think I have a very viable script but I also had all the second unit shot already, and I began to have some interest from some actors. It’s a big, ambitious project. It has a big cast.

I think if the film could be fortunate enough to be taken by the industry not so much as, “Here’s another wacky Coppola thing, he’ll never do it,” or, “Where is he going to get the money?” But instead, “This is exciting. We want him to do this.” There are 12 big parts and now it becomes about, how do you get all these actors working together, and pay them?

Is Megalopolis the fulfillment of a dream at the end of a great career, or the start of things to come, where you return to large canvas filmmaking?

I think I will only play on the large canvas because I’ve made all the little experimental films that I wanted to experiment with, and now I’m ready to try out what I think I’ve learned. I’m 80, but I have a 102-year-old uncle who just wrote a new opera that has been well received. Genetically, I could have 20 years and I will need that long to do everything I’m excited about wanting to do.
This is part of a very good interview with Coppola: https://deadline.com/2019/05/francis...ew-1202613659/
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Old 05-21-19, 09:09 AM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

That's an awesome interview. Looks like we'll be getting The Cotton Club: Encore at some point, too!
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Old 05-21-19, 09:12 AM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
That's an awesome interview. Looks like we'll be getting The Cotton Club: Encore at some point, too!
Yea, it screened at a few festivals I think 2 years ago. It supposed to be really good. Looks like October for a bigger release.
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Old 05-21-19, 02:11 PM
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Re: Megalopolis (D: Francis Ford Coppola)

I have my doubts this will get done, but I would sure love to see it. Maybe his old friend George can throw in some money to produce it.
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