Francis Ford Coppola is turning 80 this month and he’s marking the occasion by announcing plans to kick off production sometime this year on a passion project he’s wanted to direct for over three decades: “Megalopolis.” The science-fiction epic was written in the early 1980s but always took a backseat to Coppola’s other projects. By the time “The Godfather” director was ready to move into production at the turn of the century, the September 11 attacks happened and shut the production down as the film is based in New York City and details the attempts of an architect to reconstruct a utopian version of the city following a mega-disaster.
“Yes, I plan this year to begin my longstanding ambition to make a major work utilizing all I have learned during my long career, beginning at age 16 doing theater, and that will be an epic on a grand scale, which I’ve entitled ‘Megalopolis,’” Coppola confirmed to Deadline. “It is unusual; it will be a production on a grand scale with a large cast. It makes use of all of my years of trying films in different styles and types culminating in what I think is my own voice and aspiration. It is not within the mainstream of what is produced now, but I am intending and wishing and in fact encouraged, to begin production this year.”
Coppola is already eyeing actors to take part in the grand passion project. According to Deadline, Jude Law is circling the lead role but no casting has been confirmed. Numerous actors have been attached to the project and left over the years, including Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, and Russell Crowe. As one might expect from reading the brief plot synopsis, Coppola’s script has drawn comparisons to Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.”
Should “Megalopolis” get off the ground and into production this year, the film would mark Coppola’s first feature directorial effort since “Twixt” in 2011. The director will attend the Tribeca Film Festival later this month with a new cut of his masterpiece “Apocalypse Now,” entitled “Apocalypse Now Final Cut.” Coppola will sit down with Steven Soderbergh for an extended Q&A after the “Final Cut” world premiere.