Legendary 83-year-old filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s new film has “descended into chaos” according to multiple sources for The Hollywood Reporter.
The production is said to be halfway through an 80-90 day shoot in Atlanta and has, in the last week, lost key creative talent, including its production designer and supervising art director, along with losing the entire visual effects team in the first part of December.
This has been a passion project of Coppola for decades and raised eyebrows last Fall when he revealed he would be self-financing the $120 million film, partially with the tens of millions he made selling his popular northern California wineries.
The film’s budget has since expanded and is now about halfway through its 80-90 day shoot, but a production source says it is unclear whether the production can go forward as planned.
Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman and Dustin Hoffman star in the film about an architect who seeks to rebuild New York city as a utopia after a disaster.
The project reportedly initially employed virtual production technology similar to that used on “The Mandalorian,” but as the challenges and costs of that approach mounted, the production is attempting to pivot to cheaper and more traditional green-screen.
Coppola has never made an effects-heavy movie, and between firings and resignations, a source for the trade claims the film now has no art department. Despite the exits, Coppola is continuing on and reportedly hiring new staff this week.
Still, Coppola has a long history of challenging productions and chaotic sets for movies like “Apocalypse Now” and “The Cotton Club” along with high-pressure productions and gestations like “The Godfather”.