Francis Ford Coppola began shooting his passion project, the sci-fi epic Megalopolis, late last year, but it seems that the production is going a bit out of control. Multiple sources have told THR that the set has descended into chaos, with the budget expanding out of control and key creative talents stepping down, not to mention Coppola firing the entire visual effects team back in December.
Francis Ford Coppola began writing Megalopolis in the 1980s but recognized that it would require a huge budget to match its massive scope, so it sat on a shelf for decades. The director made waves when he said that he would fund the $120 million movie himself, but that budget has grown considerably just halfway through production. One source wasn’t ever sure if the shoot could continue as planned. Another major blow is the exit of production designer Beth Mickle and supervising art director David Scott, and a source said that between firings and resignations, “the film now has no art department.” In a statement, a spokesperson for the Art Directors Guild, said, “The Art Directors Guild supports all Art Departments to ensure proper staffing and scheduling and is currently looking into the situation with Megalopolis to determine the next steps. We have no further comment at this point.“
Megalopolis also features more visual effects than Francis Ford Coppola has done in the past, which includes using the same virtual production technology used on shows like The Mandalorian. Instead of continuing with that method, sources say that the rest of the production might switch to the more traditional green-screen method, but either way, sources say that Coppola is going to have to spend a lot more money than he intended to. It’s unclear why, but Coppola fired almost the entire visual effects team on December 9th, with the remainder following suit soon after. Despite all the exits, Coppola is said to be working on hiring new staff.
The film features quite the ensemble cast, including Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, and Dustin Hoffman. Megalopolis centers on an architect who seeks to rebuild New York City as a utopia after a disaster. Francis Ford Coppola is no stranger to out-of-control productions, with Apocalpyse Now still standing as the most famous example, but I hope he can get Megalopolis back on track.