Francis Ford Coppola is known as a filmmaker who made masterpieces as well as disastrous films. Now, the legendary auteur’s latest film, “Megalopolis,” will make its Cannes debut, and considering the prestige of the film festival, it can be said that “Megalopolis” is another masterpiece in Coppola’s career. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Coppola’s highly anticipated, self-funded feature “Megalopolis” has landed a Cannes debut. The film will screen in competition at the festival on May 17 in a gala premiere at the 77th annual festival.

The upcoming feature is Coppola’s biggest project. He conceived the idea in 1979 while filming Apocalypse Now. The film cost around $120 million. The filmmaker undeniably hustled to manage the adequate funds. For instance, some of the funding came from selling a significant part of his wine business.

Recently, the film had a screening for potential buyers, with industry figures like Universal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and Sony’s Tom Rothman in attendance at Universal CityWalk. It’s still looking for a distributor, but Coppola wants it to be released in Imax theaters. While the project is indeed huge for Coppola, during its screening it received mixed reviews. Several in attendance at the Megalopolis screening described their experiences to The Hollywood Reporter, with one studio head saying, “It’s so not good, and it was so sad watching it. Anybody who puts P&A behind it, you’re going to lose money.” Another offered: “I liked it enormously.”

What is Megalopolis all about?

“Megalopolis” is an upcoming American epic science fiction drama film written, directed, and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. The film’s storyline follows an accident that destroys a New York City-like metropolis that is already in decay. An architectural idealist, Caesar, aims to rebuild the city as a utopia. However, the mayor, Frank Cicero, thinks otherwise, partly because of corruption and power brokering. Meanwhile, Frank’s daughter, Julia, tired of the attention and power she was born with, looks for meaning in her life.

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Sound designer Richard Beggs, who worked with Coppola in the 1979 film “Apocalypse Now,” described Coppola’s vision as a “gigantic opera, shown over four nights in some place as close as possible to the geographical center of the United States – and people would come from all over, as they do to Bayreuth”

In an interview with GQ in 2022, Coppola gave more insight, elaborating that the film is “a love story.” He explained, “A woman is divided between loyalties to two men. But not only two men. Each man comes with a philosophical principle. One is her father who raised her, who taught her Latin on his lap and is devoted to a much more classical view of society, the Marcus Aurelius kind of view. The other one, who is the lover, is the enemy of the father but is dedicated to a much more progressive ‘Let’s leap into the future, let’s leap over all of this garbage that has contaminated humanity for 10,000 years. Let’s find what we really are, which is an enlightened, friendly, joyous species’.”

The film features an ensemble cast that includes Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Grace VanderWaal, Kathryn Hunter, Talia Shire, Dustin Hoffman and D. B. Sweeney.

“Megalopolis” is scheduled to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2024.

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