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Megalopolis: Why One of the Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies of 2024 Didn’t See the Light of Day

There is Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon. Don Quixote Orson Welles. Sergio Leone’s Stalingrad. Tim Burton’s Superman lives on. And Megalopolis has been a part of the category for a long time, next to them “These failed projects of great filmmakers”.

After making it almost a reality in the early 21st century, Francis Ford Coppola abandoned even that. And the fact that he hasn’t shot anything since Twixt came out in 2012 leaves little hope that he’ll see a feature film as massive as its title. And then…

This Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m., Francis Ford Coppola entered the Lumiere Grand Theater with his cast. at more than one event of the 77th Cannes Film Festival or the fourth film in its competition. Because this is the fulfillment of a decades-long dream. The result of which was celebrated today with a little sadness, the film director lost his wife Eleonora on April 12.

Born in the 80s

“Megalopolis has always been a film dedicated to my dear wife Eleonora”said the director in early May, Upon revealing the first excerpt from the feature film. He reportedly spoke to Rob Lowe on the set of Outsiders… in 1982. At that time, Francis Ford Coppola had already started writing it, apparently not being chilled by the now chaotic filming of the apocalypse, which deserved delusions of grandeur. Many filmmakers.

Infused with an almost obsessive passion for this project, he is willing to do anything to make it a success. Among them, as he revealed to the site Not cool news In 2007, he even agreed to direct The Idealist, Jack and Dracula, to help finance it. A strategy that paid off in 2001 when he arranged reading sessions with several actors.

No less prominent in Hollywood, because we are talking about Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicolas Cage, Robert De Niro, Kevin Spacey, Paul Newman, Uma Thurman, James Gandolfini or even the newly Oscar-winning Russell Crowe thanks to Gladiator. In parallel with these hearings, he recorded images of New York with cinematographer Ron Fricke: a rush of about thirty hours, which he soon deleted.

The attacks on American soil on September 11, 2001 devastated New York and shocked the world, with more or less direct consequences for the film industry. As well as the interrogation of Megalopolis, whose story revolves around the reconstruction of the city, after the cataclysm, by an architect who then tries to create a utopia.

“It really made things difficult.”said the director in 2007 when he announced that he had given up on the project. “A film towards utopia as the main character and then suddenly you can’t write about New York unless you deal with what happened and what happened, the world was attacked.” I didn’t know what to do.

“The world was under attack and I didn’t know how to deal with it”

The Ageless Man, Tetro and Twixt. Then reruns of Apocalypse Now and The Godfather 3. And, unlike Terry Gilliam and his Don Quixote, he seems to have drawn the line under Megapolis. The audience also knows that no studio will invest such a large budget in an original film, at a time when franchises have become the queens of Hollywood. Until May 2019.

Then it’s revealed that Megalopolis is still alive and that Jude Law and Shia LaBeouf may be in the lead. If the second stays until the end, the first quickly drops out of conversations involving Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, James Caan, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange or even Cate Blanchett.

Actors who won’t end up being part of the adventure, unlike Natalie Emmanuel, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Talia Shire, Dustin Hoffman or even Giancarlo Esposito. Not forgetting Adam Driver, who, not content with adding a prestigious name to an already very impressive filmography, helps save another long-overdue project after starring in Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote.

Adam Driver and Natalie Emanuel

With a production budget ranging from $100 to $120 million, financed entirely by Francis Ford Coppola himself thanks to wine proceeds, Megalopolis begins filming on November 1, 2022 in Georgia, and will wrap on March 12 of the following year. . Not without some skirmishes.

In January, when filming was underway, The Hollywood Reporter causes chaos on set after firing several key members of his technical team (those in charge of visual effects). Echoes of Denied by Coppola and Adam Driver When guardianA few days before the presentation in Cannes, he especially talks about the inappropriate behavior of the director towards the extras during the filming of Bacchanalian scenes.

Toward the 3rd Palme d’Or?

A rumor that the main stakeholder has yet to address, while the film was in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. Participation, which he himself confirmed, before the official announcement of the selection. For Francis Ford Coppola, this is his fourth appearance in the event’s main category. The first since 1979, the year of Apocalypse Now’s triumph, which earned him a second Palme d’Or.

Will he become the first director in Cannes history to score a hat-trick? RSVP on May 25, when president Greta Gerwig (who happens to be Barbie’s godmother) reveals her jury picks. And perhaps Francis Ford Coppola’s grand apotheosis will offer this megalopolis that took him more than four decades to design.

Source: Allocine

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