‘Megalopolis’: Francis Ford Coppola Denies Reports of Chaos on Production!!

It seemed like Francis Ford Coppola‘s self-financed passion project Megalopolis was in major peril yesterday following a report that the production had descended into “chaos.” Things looked grim with the loss of a number of key creatives aboard the film as well as the resignation of the art department and the jettison of the VFX team. One person that’s not worried about the film, however, is Coppola himself. Deadline recently published a response from the legendary director in which he vehemently disputed the notion that Megalopolis had fallen into disarray.

“I love my cast, I love what I’m getting each day, I am on schedule and on budget, and that’s what is important to me,” Coppola told Deadline from the set of the film. In the article, he addressed the many recent developments that led to the belief that the film had gone off the rails. Namely, he explained the loss of the VFX and art departments. While he admitted that there was significant turnover, he clarified that it was merely a result of some restructuring and cost-cutting and not the derailing disaster it was believed to be. Coppola was initially incorporating experimental virtual production technology, though as costs rose precipitously, he found it more efficient to handle most of the effects in post-production. The VFX team was cut to keep things on budget. The art department left over creative differences over personnel, something understandable given Coppola‘s tendency to make constant creative shakeups.

Regarding the rest of the production, Coppola is more than happy with what he’s been able to work with in terms of team, schedule, and budget. He was effusive in his praise for the star-studded cast which includes Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, and Dustin Hoffman. He added:

I’ve never worked on a film where I was so happy with the cast. 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.

Coppola Is Prepared to Weather the Storm on Megalopolis

If there’s anyone that’s used to a little on-set chaos, it’s Coppola. He managed to get through the apocalyptic (pun intended) production of the Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now which endured tropical storms, the major recasting of Harvey Keitel for Martin Sheen, stolen payroll, and much more. Even The Godfather faced many an issue as Coppola frequently battled with Warner Bros. executives to make the movie he wanted. In the face of those productions among other troubled films, the famed director found his latest epic to be smooth sailing by comparison.

For what it’s worth, Coppola wasn’t the only one to come out in defense of the Megalopolis production either. Driver also spoke at length about the reported drama on the set. “I’d like to briefly respond to The Hollywood Reporter article published Monday, January 9th,” he said. “All good here! Not sure what set you’re talking about! I don’t recognize that one! I’ve been on sets that were chaotic and this one is far from it.” He went on, praising Coppola‘s direction and the work of the other departments making the film possible. Furthermore, he characterized the departures of the art and VFX departments as just part of the unique creative process behind the film. While there’s no way to know for sure what’s going on behind the scenes, the overwhelming confidence of Driver in the production should assuage some fears about the future of the film.

Coppola is still aiming high for the release of Megalopolis. He says that filming, which began back in October, is expected to finish by the spring of 2023 and, once it’s ready for distribution, he hopes to forgo the usual festival route in favor of something far more grandiose. “I’m interested in a theatrical release in theaters, and IMAX theaters, and I am excited about the possibility that for the first time in history, a movie could open up on the same day everywhere in the world,” He said. “And that’s what my goal is.” The plot has been kept relatively under wraps, but it’s said to follow an architect who seeks to realize their vision of a perfect, futuristic utopia following the cataclysmic fall of New York City.

Stay tuned here at Collider for more on Megalopolis as Coppola continues work on his long-awaited passion project.


via Collider

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