To put it in the simplest terms, Francis Ford Coppola is one of Hollywood’s greatest-ever directors. With five Academy Awards under his belt and a string of classics dating back half a century that includes Patton, The Godfather trilogy, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now, his filmography stacks right up against the best of the best.
However, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that the quality of his work has taken a downturn during the most recent couple of decades, and nobody’s going to hold up Tetro or Twixt as bastions of cinematic excellence. However, Coppola has been determined to bring his long-gestating epic Megalopolis to the big screen for well over 20 years, and he’s literally putting his money where his mouth is.
The 82 year-old is set to share the financial costs of the project, which is reported to have a preliminary budget in excess of $100 million. Megalopolis has been in the works for so long that Coppola shot second unit footage of the Manhattan skyline before 9/11, and yet he’s never given up on what could he believes could be another masterpiece.
He’s also setting his sights high for the ensemble now that discussions underway with Oscar Isaac, Forest Whitaker, Cate Blanchett, Jon Voight, Zendaya, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange and James Caan, and the sprawling cast is set to require a lot more talent than that. Coppola recently made a small fortune selling some of his vineyard to a major wine company, so he’s clearly got enough tucked away to plow up to $100 million of his own personal funds into Megalopolis, which follows an architect who sets out to rebuild New York City in the wake of a cataclysmic disaster.