Francis Ford Coppola’s Longtime Passion Project is Being Called A “Baffling” Sci-Fi Movie

One of the strangest movies of the year is getting shocking first reactions.

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 19: Nathalie Emmanuel and Adam Driver are seen on the set of Francis Ford Copp...
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A lot of filmmakers have a “one for them, one for me” mindset. They’ll make one crowd-pleasing blockbuster in order to fund goodwill — and connections — for a smaller-scale, more experimental movie. James Wan directed Aquaman, only to turn around and make Malignant. Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man and then Drag Me to Hell. Tim Burton made Batman and then Ed Wood.

But one iconic director is taking “one for me” to an entirely new level, creating a project with total creative freedom. We finally have a clue as to what the movie will be like, and it sounds even weirder than we expected.

Coppola alongside his Godfather stars Al Pacino and Robert de Niro at the Oscars last month.

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Francis Ford Coppola, director of the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now, has been planning his next movie, Megalopolis, since 1979. The story, a sci-fi thriller about an architect who wants to rebuild New York City as a utopia following a devastating incident, has been evolving over decades, and anyone asked about it seemed to describe a grand, sweeping masterpiece that feels impossible to make. But that didn’t stop Coppola from holding table reads with all-star casts.

Finally, in 2019, Coppola decided not to wait on funders to take a chance on such risky material. Megalopolis became the ultimate creative project, self-funded, written, and directed all by Coppola himself, boasting a cast including Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, and Nathalie Emmanuel. Five years later, the movie was finally screened for potential buyers last week, and reactions were both exciting and confusing.

The only promotional image released for Megalopolis.

American Zoetrope

Sources told Puck’s Matthew Belloni that one attendee said the movie had “zero commercial prospects, and good for him,” and another said it was “unflinching in how batsh*t crazy it is” while Deadline described it as “crackling with ideas that fuse the past with the future, with an epic and highly visual fable that plays perfectly on an IMAX screen.”

While this sounds like a sci-fi movie that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, no matter how much respect the “zero commercial prospects” earn Coppola, it doesn’t mean anything if the movie isn’t considered marketable enough for the general public.

But this isn’t just any indie movie. This is Francis Ford Coppola’s passion project, the movie he sold off a chunk of his wine empire to afford. It’s the ultimate “one for me” — the movie the patriarch of a filmmaking empire has always wanted to make. There may not be a market for a supremely weird sci-fi epic, but perhaps there’s a market for Francis Ford Coppola’s most personal movie yet.

Megalopolis premieres sometime in 2024.

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