Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Megalopolis’ in Peril As Crew Exits

Francis Ford Coppola’s newest film, the sci-fi-tinged Megalopolis, has descended into chaos, in line with a number of sources. The film, at present midway by means of capturing in Atlanta, has within the final week misplaced key inventive expertise together with its manufacturing designer and supervising artwork director. That’s on high of dropping all the visible results staff within the first a part of December.  

To many insiders, the manufacturing is giving extreme Apocalypse Now redux vibes, and it’s one on which the iconoclastic 83-year-old director is breaking a cardinal Hollywood rule: By no means spend your individual cash.

Megalopolis has been a ardour venture a long time within the making for the filmmaker, who turned heads within the fall of 2021 when information broke that he can be self-financing the $120 million movie, partially with the tens of tens of millions he made promoting his common Northern California wineries. The funds has since expanded and the movie is now about midway by means of its 80- to 90-day shoot, however a manufacturing supply says it’s unclear whether or not the manufacturing can go ahead as deliberate. 

Representatives for Coppola didn’t reply to a request for remark in time for publication.

Coppola assembled a starry forged for the venture, together with Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman and Dustin Hoffman. The movie facilities on an architect who seeks to rebuild New York Metropolis as a utopia after a catastrophe. Sources say Coppola initially employed new digital manufacturing know-how just like that used on The Mandalorian. However because the challenges and prices of that strategy have mounted, these sources say the manufacturing is trying to pivot to a more cost effective, extra conventional greenscreen strategy. “There’s no good reply right here,” says a manufacturing government. “[Coppola] goes to spend so much extra money than he supposed. You possibly can think about how a lot he’s already obtained invested. It could be a really bitter tablet to not end it.”

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Sources say Coppola, who has by no means made an effects-heavy film, fired nearly his whole visible results staff Dec. 9, with the remainder of that division quickly following. Mark Russell, a veteran whose credit embody Within the Heights and The Wolf of Wall Avenue, was main the staff as visible results manufacturing supervisor. (Coppola famously fired his particular results division on Dracula 30 years in the past.)

Extra lately, manufacturing designer Beth Mickle and supervising artwork director David Scott have departed. Between firings and resignations, a supply says the movie now has no artwork division. Russell, Mickle and Scott didn’t reply to requests for remark.

“The Artwork Administrators Guild helps all Artwork Departments to make sure correct staffing and scheduling and is at present wanting into the state of affairs with Megalopolis to find out the subsequent steps,” a spokesperson for the Artwork Administrators Guild, which reps each artwork administrators and manufacturing designers, stated in a press release. “We now have no additional remark at this level.”

One expertise consultant whose shopper was amongst these fired says the dismissal was a blessing in disguise. “It was absolute insanity, being on set,” this individual says.

Regardless of the crew exits, Coppola is urgent on, hiring new employees this week, in line with sources.

In March 2022, Coppola instructed The truestarz he was placing his personal cash into the movie, which has no distributor, so as to make it his manner. Mentioned Coppola: “There’s a sure manner everybody thinks a movie needs to be, and it rubs in opposition to the grain when you have one other concept. Individuals might be very unaccepting, however typically the opposite concept represents what’s coming sooner or later. That’s worthy of being thought-about.”

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Coppola’s strategies have yielded a number of movies that critics take into account among the many best of all time, together with The Godfather (1972) and its 1974 sequel, each of which gained finest image on the Oscars. But he hasn’t had a success since 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula and final helmed the 2011 homicide thriller function Twixt, which starred Val Kilmer and Bruce Dern and was largely a house leisure play.

The director has an extended historical past of difficult productions. He self-financed the 1982 musical romance function One From the Coronary heart, which didn’t carry out, and adopted it up with The Cotton Membership, the 1984 all-star crime drama. That film, additionally a bomb, was notoriously remembered not only for a troubled set — crewmembers reported being abruptly fired — but additionally for a revolving door of financiers.

However there was no extra famously calamitous Coppola manufacturing than Apocalypse Now, a grueling shoot that mirrored its plot of a descent into insanity and chaos. Nonetheless, the 1979 film went on to win two Oscars and have become a traditional.

At that yr’s Cannes Movie Competition, the filmmaker mirrored, “We have been within the jungle. We had entry to an excessive amount of cash, an excessive amount of gear, and little by little we went insane.”

Katie Kilkenny and Borys Equipment contributed to this report.



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