Science fiction cinema has given us a multitude of unforgettable films throughout the history of cinema, although at the moment of truth it is not exactly the most valued in the lists of best films of all time. In addition, there are several exciting projects that never saw the light of day, which was what almost happened with ‘Megalopolis’ , Francis Ford Coppola ‘s dream project that the director of ‘The Godfather’ has taken 40 years to bring to fruition. -thus surpassing the more than 30 it took Phil Tipett to complete ‘Mad God’-.
‘Megalopolis’ tells the story of an ambitious architect who wants to redesign New York into a modern utopia after a disaster that has reduced it to ashes , but his desire will collide head-on with a conservative mayor who prevents it. Between them is a woman, lover of the first and daughter of the second….
Coppola himself has mentioned on occasion that one of the references of the film is ‘Metropolis’, one of the most important works of science fiction in the history of the seventh art. He remains to see that ‘Megalopolis’ can achieve a similar status, but what is clear is that it is a very ambitious film that has been determined to move forward at any cost.
The project arose in the early 1980s , but Coppola suffered several commercial failures during that decade, which led him to have to postpone ‘Megalopolis’ and work on other titles to get the necessary financing. The director himself acknowledged in 2007 that this was the reason why he agreed to deal with ‘Dracula’, ‘Jack’ and ‘Legitimate defense’.
In fact, everything indicated that Coppola was going to be able to make his dream come true at the beginning of this century, but then he suffered another sabotage by harsh reality. The filmmaker had met with big stars like Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul Newman and Nicolas Cage , and had also shot some 30 hours of second unit footage of New York City for use in the film. Then the terrorist attacks of September 11 happened and Coppola didn’t know how to react to that.
The resurrection of the project
‘Megalopolis’ ended up being put aside and seemed doomed to become one of the best films ever made, but Coppola surprised in 2019 by announcing that he was resuming the project. Taking into account his age -he is already 83 years old-, no one would have been surprised if it was one of those ads that finally come to nothing.
However, it was not the case, although Coppola had to put literally everything on his part so that ‘Megalopolis’ can be made. By that I mean that the multi-million dollar budget – there is talk of about 100 million dollars – has come entirely out of his pocket, forcing him to sell a large part of his wine empire for it. He cooks it and he eats it.
And it is that ‘Megalopolis’ has a most striking cast in which, among others, Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel (‘Army of Thieves’) , Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman participate , Shia LaBeouf, Talia Shire, and Dustin Hoffman .
Another factor that will increase its cost is that Coppola is using the same LED Volume technology used in titles like ‘The Mandalorian’ with which he promises to introduce techniques ” never seen before ” in ‘Megalopolis’. In this way, it is possible to shoot in hyper-realistic settings, but always staying inside a set . We will have to see what exactly Coppola has in mind here…
For now, ‘Megalopolis’ is in the middle of the filming phase, since the recordings began this past November and are expected to last until March 2023 . Then the post-production work will come and there is still no release date, so it is likely that we will not see it until 2024. For now, he himself has set the bar very high with statements criticizing that the overwhelming majority of blockbusters They are cut from the same pattern…