Master director Francis Ford Coppola is ready for a comeback to filmmaking with his passion project Megalopolis, for which he is talks with Jude Law and Shia LaBeouf.
The director, whose Godfather series has influenced countless filmmakers across the globe, is in the process of putting together the finances for the film, which he had to abandon after the 9/11 terror attacks.
The story is about “an attempt to create utopia in a city like New York”, according to Deadline, which interviewed the director.
“At this age, I have to tell you, I am more enthusiastic and excited about the cinema and what it means and what it can be and even with all of the new digital aspects of it, which I think are being misused.
“As for ‘Megalopolis’… Well, it looks good. I mean, we made the offer now to several actors. I can’t say they’ve accepted, but they were very enthusiastic. One of them is Jude Law and another Shia LaBeouf. I may shortly have my lead actress,” Coppola told the entertainment website.
Coppola, who was on the brink of a financial disaster while filming Apocalypse Now, his take on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, said he is used to living with “unsure situations”.
The 80-year-old director said the kind of movie he has in mind would not interest a studio but said one of the technology companies were interested in the project. He said the process of collecting the funds would be similar to how he financed “Apocalypse Now”.
Coppola said he has been looking at a USD 120 or USD 80 million budget.
“It’s a big hunk of dough. My company is worth much more than that. Also, I went bankrupt once, so I have always been very frightened of debt. Debt’s scary when they come and they tell your wife she can’t have an account at the grocery store any more. We’ll see,” he said.
Megalopolis, he said, takes a Roman epic based on real events that occurred 2,000 years ago, and places it in America.
“… because really America is like the modern historical counterpart of Rome. We’re just like Rome. We’re practical. We’re good engineers. We have project power. That’s what Rome had, so I sort of thought America was the modern Rome and therefore, if I set this particular story that’s a famous Roman thing in modern Manhattan, it sort of worked a little bit.
“Utopia in Greek means the place that doesn’t exist. Personally, and I say this with great sincerity, I believe it can exist. I believe in the genius of the human species in its ability to come up with solutions to all of the problems that plague us. But the biggest problem of all is to get those people out of the way who like it the way it is, because they’re already in a perfect situation.