Some more info, with Coppola's quotes:
Coppola Makes a Comeback
After an eight-year layoff, Francis Ford Coppola is hopping back into the director's chair.
We're not sure if it was an offer he couldn't refuse, but the The Godfather mastermind has decided to adapt and direct Youth Without Youth, his first film since 1997's The Rainmaker.
Coppola has written the screenplay and will produce and self-finance the picture through his American Zoetrope production banner, according to Variety.
Based on the novella by Romanian author and intellectual Mircea Ellade, Youth Without Youth follows a professor whose life takes a dramatic turn in the run up to World War II. He must stay one step ahead of his pursuers, who chase him all across Europe--from Romania to Switzerland to Malta--all the way to India.
The movie will star Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz and Marcel Lures. Shooting starts in Bucharest Oct. 3.
Youth is an attempt to recapture Coppola's own youth in a way. Unlike the auteur's creative peak during the '70s, which included such epics as The Godfather, The Godfather Part II and Apocalypse Now, or his less successful '80s and '90s output as a director-for-hire on The Cotton Club, Peggy Sue Got Married and Jack, Youth is a surrealistic period piece that hearkens to Coppola's earlier, more personal experimental style of filmmaking, akin to 1968's Finian's Rainbow and 1969's The Rain People and 1974's The Conversation.
"I was excited to discover, in this tale by Eliade, the key themes that I most hope to understand better: time, consciousness, and the dreamlike basis of reality," the five-time Oscar winner said in a statement. "For me, it is indeed a return to the ambitions I had for work in cinema as a student."
Coppola visited Romania in February and, per Variety, spoke at a university there, telling students, "I have come here to rediscover myself as an artist."
That's a far cry from his exploits for the better part of a decade, as he's focused more on his burgeoning wine and hotel business than movies, aside from a few producing credits and general complaints that the powers-that-be in Tinseltown only offering him mob movies.
Coppola to End 8-Year Absence From Movies
After an eight-year absence, Francis Ford Coppola is returning to the director's chair.
He will begin filming "Youth Without Youth" in Romania on Oct. 3. Starring Tim Roth, the film is adapted from a novella by Romanian philosopher-author Mircea Eliade.
"It's a parable, it's a fable. It's almost like an intellectual `Twilight Zone,'" the "Godfather" director told The Associated Press by phone Friday, speaking from Romania. "In a way it's like a Hitchcock picture and Tim Roth is the Jimmy Stewart the guy who gets caught up in something fascinating and big."
The film takes place right before World War II and chronicles how a professor's life is altered after an "extraordinary change" late in his life, which leads to Nazi interest in studying him.
It will be Coppola's first movie since 1997's "The Rainmaker" In recent years, he's concentrated on new versions of past works, including "Apocalypse Now Redux" and, more recently, "The Outsiders: The Whole Novel." And he's been working on a screenplay about New York in the future titled "Megalopolis" for more than two decades.
Coppola, a five-time Oscar winner, said a friend recommended "Youth Without Youth," saying it had similar themes to "Megalopolis." Soon, Coppola was fascinated and wrote a screenplay.
"I see this all as steps on the path to something," Coppola said. "Maybe I'll be more qualified to do `Megalopolis' if I really digest this film. In a sense, I think a movie is really a little like a question and when you make it, that's when you get the answer."
Already immersed in preproduction, Coppola feels a "pleasant, stage-fright kind of nervous" about his directing return. Anticipating a release date of late 2006 or spring 2007, he envisions "Youth Without Youth" as a return to his roots in personal filmmaking before "The Godfather" set him on a path of big studio projects.
"I just feel that at a certain point you have to go back to the beginning again," the 66-year-old director said. "The best thing for me at this point in my life is to become a student again and make movies with the eyes I had when I was enthusiastic about it in the first place."