A drama movie that has been gestating for two decades – Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis – is gathering steam, as its leading roles have been cast. Heading the pack is Adam Driver, a still young actor who is gaining a reputation for working with the cream of the crop, in terms of directors. Joining him are Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Jon Voight, and Laurence Fishburne – who Coppola discovered when he was 14.
Megalopolis is set in a New York like city that needs to rebuild after facing a “Fall of Rome” situation, and is an epic story of political ambition, genius, and conflicted love. The 83-year-old Coppola has sold part of his wine business to fund the passion project, which will have a budget close to $100 million.
Adam Driver shot to fame in 2016 when he was cast as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequels. He has worked with pretty much every critically acclaimed male director you can think of including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Terry Gilliam, Ridley Scott, the Coen Brothers, Steven Soderbergh, Noah Baumbach, and Jim Jarmusch. He is set to play Enzo Ferrari for Michael Mann, which Mann has also been working on for two decades.
Francis Ford Coppola is considered Hollywood Royalty, as the head of a movie industry dynasty that includes Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Cage, and Jason Schwartzman. He is known for the highly-revered classics The Godfather Trilogy, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Coppola is very much viewing Megalopolis as a legacy he will be leaving to the world. He told Deadline; “Somewhere down the line, way after I’m gone, all I want is for them to discuss [Megalopolis] and, is the society we’re living in the only one available to us? How can we make it better? Education, mental health? What the movie really is proposing is that utopia is not a place. It’s how can we make everything better?”
“Every year, come up with two, three or four ideas that make it better. I would be smiling in my grave if I thought something like that happened.”
While we wait for more news on Megalopolis, check out our guide to the best movies of all time to see if you can spot a Coppola or two.