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Sofia Coppola Has No Interest in Making a Blockbuster or a Sequel

Bound for Cannes with her latest, "The Beguiled," Coppola explains why she's not intrigued by the lure of tentpoles or retreads.

“The Beguiled”

Ben Rothstein / Focus Features

There are a few things filmmaker Sofia Coppola hasn’t done yet: she hasn’t made a sequel (to her own films or anyone else’s), she hasn’t jumped into the blockbuster pool, and she hasn’t gone the superhero route. And the way she tells it, she’s probably not going to. Ever. In a revealing new Variety cover story with Coppola and her frequent star Kirsten Dunst, the Oscar-winning filmmaker gets honest about what kind of films she wants to make.

Or, perhaps more directly, the kind of films she doesn’t want to make.

When asked by the outlet about making a sequel, “The Beguiled” helmer responded, “I can’t imagine.” (Admittedly, however, it’s kind of tempting to fantasize about a followup to “Lost in Translation,” though we’ll keep that opinion mum in the face of Coppola.)

READ MORE: Female Filmmakers Want to Direct Blockbusters; Here’s Why They Don’t – Girl Talk

She’s also not hung up on box office returns, telling Variety, “I feel like guys pay more attention than girls…That’s a generalization; I shouldn’t say that. There are probably women who care too. The women directors that I know are less box office oriented.” Her reticence towards making the kind of film that could pull in a massive box office haul feeds directly into another revelation: she’s not too keen on the idea of making something “mainstream.”

While Coppola was attached to a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” a few years ago, she dropped out of the project in 2015. “I would have liked to have done that,” she told Variety. “We couldn’t agree on some elements. When it’s smaller, you can have exactly what you have in mind. For me, it wasn’t a good fit.” Even that film wasn’t imagined as one of a recent spat of Disney-issued remakes of popular properties, like “Cinderella” or “Beauty and the Beast,” and still Coppola couldn’t quite make it fit her creative aims.

Which means that a blockbuster likely isn’t in the cards for her. As Variety explains, “she can’t see herself working on a blockbuster,” though she admits to a passing interest in at least one superhero property: “Wonder Woman,” out later this summer with Patty Jenkins at the helm.

“At one point, I was like, ‘What’s happening with “Wonder Woman”?’ ” she told the outlet. “I wanted to see a woman superhero because they’re all guys. I’m not really a comic-book person, but I liked the idea.”

READ MORE: ‘The Bell Jar’: Kirsten Dunst’s Entire Career Has Been Leading Up To Her Feature Directorial Debut – Girl Talk

Coppola isn’t shy about how hard she’s had to work as a woman in an industry that continues to dole out opportunities to far more men — even with a famous name and with an early Oscar for her “Lost in Translation”
script — an idea that her “Beguiled” star is now living in her own way. Dunst is set to make her directorial debut on “The Bell Jar,” a big screen take on Sylvia Plath’s seminal novel of the same name. Even with Dunst behind the camera and Dakota Fanning set to star, she’s still having issues getting the project off the ground.

“We need our financing,” Dunst told Variety. “It’s always harder for women. Everyone has to work 10 times harder.”

Focus Features will release “The Beguiled” in select theaters June 23, with additional cities to follow a week later. The movie will compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Watch the trailer below.

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