Started by Fuzzy Dunlop, April 04, 2019, 01:14:40 PM

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Fuzzy Dunlop

New Coppola epic in the works + Apocalypse Now Final Cut incoming...

Francis Ford Coppola Ready To Make 'Megalopolis' And Is Eyeing Cast

On the eve of his 80th birthday, Francis Ford Coppola is ready to embark on one of his dream projects. He plans to direct Megalopolis, a sprawling film as ambitious as Apocalypse Now, that he has been plotting for many years. Coppola revealed this to me today. He has his script, and he has begun speaking informally to potential stars. I've heard Jude Law's name among those who might potentially be in the movie. I have much to report about Coppola's dream project, and I got to view some of the second unit footage he shot after announcing the project in Cannes, before the terror attacks of 9/11 — the film is set in New York and is an architect's attempt to create a utopia in the city, combated by the mayor — ground progress on the film to a halt.

"So yes, I plan this year to begin my longstanding ambition to make a major work utilizing all I have learned during my long career, beginning at age 16 doing theater, and that will be an epic on a grand scale, which I've titled Megalopolis," Coppola told me today. "It is unusual; it will be a production on a grand scale with a large cast. It makes use of all of my years of trying films in different styles and types culminating in what I think is my own voice and aspiration. It is not within the mainstream of what is produced now, but I am intending and wishing and in fact encouraged, to begin production this year."

This comes after Coppola has locked Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, a version of the film that most pleases the storied director, and which will premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.

"By having a record of all old cuts on Betamax, I was able to see what steps had been made toward the final version released," he said. "Interesting, even though I've had 'final cut' since Godfather's success, I always tried to be reasonable about ideas or suggestions made by the 'finance' partners, distributors or studios. However, their unanimous comment of 'too long' often led to trimming things out, whereas in retrospect the solution can often be to put more in. Also changes often beget other changes and you don't quite realize then the road you are following.

"Given that the Apocalypse original was not only long, but also unusual in style and substance for a film at that time, we tended to cut whenever possible not only in time but also in what then was considered 'weirdness,' " he said. "Maybe 15 years later I happened to catch a TV viewing of it in a hotel, and as I always enjoyed seeing the beginning, started watching and ending up seeing the whole film. I realized that just with that time elapsed, that the film was not as weird as I had thought, and had become more 'contemporary.' The avant garde art of the present often becomes the 'wallpaper' (mainstream) art of the future. That plus many people's (including distributor's opinion) that so much great stuff had been cut out, led to what was later called Apocalypse Redux, which actually had a successful theatrical distribution thanks to Harvey Weinstein. But that version had all that had been cut out, restored. Later on, once again, when asked which version I personally wanted to be shown, I often felt that the original 1979 was too abruptly shortened, and Redux was too long, and settled on what I now felt was the perfect version, which is what we're showing at Tribeca later this month, called Apocalypse Now Final Cut."


Read the script for this back when I would do a thing like that. Fuzzy on the details but remember it being grandly ambitious and also very much the work of an old giant. And this draft was from, like, 1999 or something. Have to imagine it's morphed and mutated since. Certain elements seemed to have found their way into Youth Without Youth.

Always kinda conflicted about dream projects. On the one hand, naturally wary, but on the other I'm really rooting for filmmakers to pull it off. Weirdly feeling good about this one. Coppola has been smoking a lot of weed lately.


Francis Coppola, A Gambling Maverick Moviemaker Who Won Big, Betting On Star Cast For Epic ‘Megalopolis’

QuoteI’m committed to making this movie, I’d like to make it in the fall of 2022,” Coppola revealed. “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 for Vulture
QuoteDid you see the viral video of Chris Cuomo at a bar where somebody called him Fredo? He just went ballistic on this guy, and he was screaming that Fredo was an ethnic slur. Then I think Donald Trump Jr., of all people, responded to him on Twitter saying, basically, Fredo “just means you’re the dumb brother.”
I heard about it. I’m constantly amazed at the fact that Saddam Hussein’s favorite movie was The Godfather. One of Donald Trump’s favorite movies was The Godfather. It’s Rudy Giuliani’s favorite movie. By the way, I had the great privilege of meeting Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo. What a wonderful man. I was talking to him because I was writing this utopian film. Over three decades in the making, Coppola wrote Megalopolis in the early 1980s. The production has faced delays due to Coppola’s obligations to The Godfather trilogy, the 9/11 attacks and the overall grand scale of the project. that I’m still trying to do. And I asked him, “What could America be one day?” And he told me, and I was very inspired by it.



Wow, can't believe this might finally be happening.


God, I hope this turn out well.


God bless you, Francis.  I think we're all rootin' for ya...
"You know that I own the negative of Apocalypse Now, and do you know why I own it? Because nobody wanted it," he said. "And Apocalypse Now these years earns almost as much as we get from The Godfather.


I don't believe for a second that this movie will be made, which makes me sad although I also don't believe for a second that it could be good. But I'm interested in one last grand trainwreck.


Quote from: Drenk on August 31, 2021, 05:07:34 PM
I don't believe for a second that this movie will be made

Why not? He seems to have committed to it a lot already 

Quote from: Drenk on August 31, 2021, 05:07:34 PM
I also don't believe for a second that it could be good. But I'm interested in one last grand trainwreck.

Yeah, I feel like this could end up being an gigantic flop, but I sure hope it's not. Would be wonderful if he could make one last amazing statement this far into his career.

Just Withnail

Somebody on Twitter mentioned this was at least the third time in their lifetime Coppola was "really committed" to making it happen, which is my feeling as well, so who knows if this time is different. I guess there's a ticking clock component now, it feels like it's being framed as "one last big one and that's it".


The fact that I'm struggling to find new info in the most recent article isn't a good sign, yes.

Do I believe in his determination?



As much as I simp for Coppola wanting to spend all his money on a blockbuster that nobody wants to fund, I have to say that his pitch sounds incredibly simplistic and binary.  :ponder:



I just want to see stuff explode like in Apocalypse Now


Francis Coppola Sets Final Casting For Epic 'Megalopolis'; Film Shooting This Fall In Georgia

QuoteFrancis Ford Coppola has completed the cast of Megalopolis, the epic drama that he'll shoot this fall in Georgia.

Coppola has added SNL castmember Chloe Fineman, Licorice Pizza's Isabelle Kusman, D.B. Sweeney, newcomer Bailey Ives and Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman.

They join Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker and Game of Thrones' Nathalie Emmanuel in the three leads. Also in the cast are Jon Voight; Coppola's Apocalypse Now discovery Laurence Fishburne, The Godfather's Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Grace Vanderwaal, Kathryn Hunter, Aubrey Plaza, Madeleine Gardella and James Remar.