Entertainment

Francis Ford Coppola is spending $120 million of his own money to make one last film


The directing legend behind the likes of ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’ is going all-out for one last epic film.

Francis Ford Coppola hasn’t made a film since 2011’s little-seen ‘Twixt’, which is a stark contrast to his New Hollywood peers of the 1970s.

Fellow film school brat and contemporary Steven Spielberg recently picked up yet another Oscar nomination for directing ‘West Side Story’ and Martin Scorsese is showing no signs of slowing down.

Coppola, on the other hand, has been pretty quiet in terms of his output, but that is about to change.

The 5-Time Oscar winner is putting up $120 million of his own money to make his long-gestating passion project ‘Megalopolis’.

Coppola is no stranger to putting his money where his mouth is – 1982’s ‘One From The Heart’ was entirely self-financed and was such a commercial failure he spent the rest of the 1980’s making studio films to pay off the debt.

Nearly 40 years on, the father of acclaimed director Sofia Coppola is gearing up to make a film he hopes ranks up there with his beloved films of yore.

In a profile piece with CQ, Coppola says he wants ‘Megalopolis’ to be “the kind of film people watch once a year like It’s A Wonderful Life”

Coppola has been making his fortune in recent years with his own winery in California (which sadly does not ship to Ireland) and last year, Coppola raised the $120 million required for the film by selling off a large part of the winery.

“If I’m going to invest $120 million of my own money—which I’ve already done basically, I have it there, waiting to be written to make it—I want it to have a good result for humanity,” the director said.

‘Megalopolis’ tells the story of New York City attempting to rebuild into a utopia after a major disaster, with the film paying tribute to the big-budget epics by director Cecil B. DeMille and ‘Ben-Hur’.

The director is in talks with stars like Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Cate Blanchett, and ‘The Godfather’ star James Caan to star in the film.

The film has been a passion project for Coppola for years, with the idea first coming to him after releasing his seminal 1979 classic ‘Apocalypse Now’.


Francis Ford Coppola on the set of ‘Apocalypse Now’, one of the most infamously troubled productions in film history

Coppola implied in the interview that he pitched the film to the likes of Disney, Paramount and Netflix, and was rejected, which led to him seeking to raise funds by himself.

In the 10 years since Coppola last directed a film, the film landscape has changed drastically with Marvel films becoming the pre-eminent films of the era, and this doesn’t sit well with the director.

Coppola told CQ “there used to be studio films, now there are Marvel pictures, and what is a Marvel picture?”

“A Marvel picture is one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different,” the director said.

“Even the talented people—you could take ‘Dune made by Denis Villeneuve, an extremely talented, gifted artist, and you could take ‘No Time to Die’ directed by Cary Fukunaga, extremely gifted, talented, beautiful artists, and you could take both those movies, and you and I could go and pull the same sequence out of both of them and put them together.”

“The same sequence where the cars all crash into each other. They all have that stuff in it, and they almost have to have it, if they’re going to justify their budget. And that’s the good films and the talented filmmakers,” he added.

Coppola is looking to begin filming on ‘Megalopolis’ soon.





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