According to Deadline, Emmy-nominated actor Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian) has signed on to join the all-star cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s long-in-development passion project Megalopolis. Further details about his character are still being kept under wraps.

His casting comes after the film was plagued by circulating rumors about the state of its production and budget. The acclaimed filmmaker immediately debunked said reports, confirming that he’s still “on schedule and on budget.” However, he did admit that there has been some turnover regarding the visual effects and art departments.

“I’ve never worked on a film where I was so happy with the cast,” Coppola said (via Deadline). “I am so happy with the look and that we are so on schedule. These reports never say who these sources are. To them, I say, ha, ha, just wait and see. Because this is a beautiful film and primarily so because the cast is so great. I’ve never enjoyed working with a cast who are so hardworking and so willing to go search for the unconventional, to come upon hidden solutions. It is a thrill to work with these actors and the photography is everything I could hope for. The dailies are great. So if we’re on schedule, and I love the actors and the look is great, I don’t know what anyone’s talking about here.”

Megapolis has been Coppola’s passion project since the 1980s. The logline states, “The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius, and dangerous love.”

The film stars Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Grace Vanderwaal, Kathryn Hunter, James Remar, Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Kusman, D.B. Sweeney, Chloe Fineman, and newcomer Bailey Ives.

There have been many times in the past when Coppola tried to start production on the project. However, due to certain unchangeable setbacks, including directorial obligations to The Godfather trilogy and the 9/11 attacks, making Megalopolis a reality has indeed become a difficult task for the filmmaker.

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