Francis Ford Coppola to finance Megalopolis mega-project and stellar casting

In addition to being an American filmmaker and winery owner, he is an individual of incredible standing because of his inspired wagers on… himself. Francis Coppola has another chance to place all of his hard-earned chips on the table with Megalopolis, a big epic dream project.

Although the financial arrangements are still not fixed, Coppola has taken a huge risk by splitting his $100 million to $120 million picture. The director of iconic films like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now!, The Conversation and others are in talks with a wonderful array of actors excited to collaborate with him.

Although Coppola is talking parts with:

  • Oscar Isaac
  • Forest Whitaker
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Jon Voight
  • Zendaya
  • Michelle Pfeiffer
  • and Jessica Lange.

Coppola’s most relevant role-related discussions are with each actor he is considering for a role in his next film. His old friend James Caan will be featured again after Caan’s portrayal of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. Caan became a megastar because of his performance. this will be a huge production with a lot of supporting players in the cast

For the last several years, Deadline has reported on Coppola’s dream of creating a Megalopolis. The video I’ve seen shows New York City skyscrapers and streets shot 20 years ago, an endeavor that halted after 9/11 left the city forever changed. Despite Coppola’s initial enthusiasm, his excitement never faded.

Since Coppola recently sold part of his massive Sonoma County vineyard holdings to Delicato Family Wines, he has more resources available to borrow against and has gotten back into the game by investing in a project he believes can become a North Star for the younger generation who is searching for optimism in a time when global warming is devastating many areas, divisive politics, and fake news are polarizing half the country. The scientific community is working against the clock to perfect a vaccine to combat a deadly pandemic that has been widely publicized and controversial.

It has become like a religious war, in that it’s not about anything logical. I think the big news here is that I am still the same as I was 20 years ago or 40 years ago. I’m still willing to do the dream picture, even if I have to put up my own money, and I am capable of putting up $100 million if I have to here. I don’t want to, but I will do it if I have to. I’m committed to making this movie, I’d like to make it in the fall of 2022. I don’t have all my cast approved, but I have enough of them to have confidence that it is going to be a very exciting cast. The picture’s going to cost between $100 million and $120 million. Needless to say, I hope it’s closer to $100 million. I’m prepared to match some outside financing, almost dollar for dollar. In other words, I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. What’s interesting about that is, there was a documentary about my dream studio, when I owned Zoetrope Studios and I was unafraid to risk everything I had in order to make my dream come true. Well, I really haven’t changed my personality, at all.

Francis Ford Coppola

Coppola has been ready for a big break ever since he got his start a few years ago. Although he lost some weight years ago, he’s kept it off, and he was able to show his stamina in The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, Apocalypse Now, and The Cotton Club. In each picture, he developed new versions that were based on old movies. I understand he’s going to Telluride this weekend to show his old movies, The Rain People and The Outsiders: The Complete Novel since he’s doing restoration work on them. Though at peace with his previous masterpieces, when his job is done, I imagine that Coppola, hosting a festival, will lead conversations about Megalopolis, a project that looks toward the future.

Coppola spoke up to Deadline about some of his biggest gambles in the past, such as when he had to close down his film production company because of the failure of the musical One From the Heart in the early 1990s. Even in the face of failure, Coppola has always found a way to come back. Even after all these years, the continued success of Apocalypse Now pays him his monthly allowance.

You know that I own the negative of Apocalypse Now, and do you know why I own it? Because nobody wanted it. And Apocalypse Now these years earns almost as much as we get from The Godfather. Pictures like this [are difficult]; everyone wants to make the next Marvel movie, but no one wants to make a picture that really talks to young people in a hopeful way, that we are in a position to get together and solve any problem thrown at us. That is what I believe, and it is what the theme of the picture really is. Utopia is talking about how we can make the society we live in solve these problems. I believe it is an exciting change from the kinds of movies being offered to the public. Mainly because it puts forward a fundamental message that it’s time for us to consider that the society we live in isn’t the only alternative available to us. And that utopia isn’t so much a little experimental place in the country; utopia is a discussion of people, asking the right questions on if the society we’re living in is the only alternative or, if for the sake of young people, there are better choices that should be discussed. That is the influence I dream of this movie having. And for that reason I am willing and capable of investing at a high number, to make it come true. I’m putting together the means of doing that.

Francis Ford Coppola

Although the story revolves around a modern-day metropolis and tackles modern-day issues, it is inspired by ancient Rome.

The concept of the film is a Roman epic, in the traditional Cecile B. DeMille or Ben-Hur way, but told as a modern counterpart focusing on America. It’s based on The Catiline Conspiracy, which comes to us from ancient Rome. This was a famous duel between a patrician, Catiline, and that part will be played by Oscar Isaac, and the famous Cicero, who will be Forest Whitaker. He is now the beleaguered mayor of New York, during a financial crisis, close to the one that Mayor Dinkins had. This story takes place in a new Rome, a Roman epic sent in modern times. The time set is not a specific year in modern New York, it’s an impression of modern New York, which I call New Rome.

Francis Ford Coppola

Coppola knows he is swimming against the current in the business, where everyone is focused on making franchises, making lofty ideas, and staying on formulaic tracks. However, he is a lifelong rebel and hopes to preserve the status quo by personally defeating his opponent.

This film I want to make, I believe is an exciting change from the kinds of movies being offered to the public. Mainly because it puts forward a fundamental message that it’s time for us to consider that the society we live in isn’t the only alternative available to us. And that a utopia isn’t so much a little experimental place in the country; a utopia is a discussion of people asking the right questions on just that subject, and if the society we’re living in is the only alternative or, if for the sake of young people, there are better choices that should be discussed. Hopefully that is the influence I dream of this movie having. And for that reason I am willing and capable of investing at a high number, to make it come true. I’m putting together the means of doing that.

Francis Ford Coppola

This is an event he knows is going to complete a long and difficult journey, and he feels invigorated by it.

I have some private financiers who want to come in on a partner basis, and I’m willing to match their funds, if I have to. Obviously the more money I have to put up, the more complications it gives me, but I am capable of doing it. I am capable of going the whole distance if I really had to. It would be hard for me or anyone to put up $100 million to make a utopian dream of a film, but it is not impossible for that to happen. It has been in the news I just sold one of my wineries to another company. So I’m a position where I don’t have the money but I can borrow it. So basically I am the same position as I was in that Dream Studio period, where I want to see the dream come true and I am not afraid to risk my own money to make it happen.

Francis Ford Coppola

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