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Megalopolis, 10 things to know about Francis Ford Coppola's film

In competition at the 77th edition of Cannes Film Festivalthe most anticipated film of the last 40 years arrives. Megalopolis by Francis Ford Coppola: The retro-futurist blockbuster with an epic feel, the result of an enormous production effort. The eighty-five-year-old master of New Hollywood has spent half of his existence and $120 million out of pocket to realize a cinematic dream. The legendary director of The Godfather and of Apocalypse Now conceived Megalopolis, already, since 1977 and began developing it since the dawn of the 80s. But his ambitious film suffered delays and cancellations, ending up, irremediably, in production hell. Only in 2019, the iconic filmmaker managed to take the reins of his project and self-finance it, selling his Napa Valley wine empire.

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Based on Catiline's conspiracya feud between a Roman senator and Cicero, Megalopolis takes us to a similar New York destroyed by a catastrophe. At the center of the story, the visionary architect Cesare (played by Adam Driver), determined to rebuild the city as a utopian megalopolis of the future. His dream, however, is thwarted by the corrupt mayor, Frank Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito). Between the two there is Julia (Nathalie Emmanuel), the politician's beautiful daughter in love with Cesare. Rounding out the all-star cast: Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Schwartzman, Kathryn Hunter and Dustin Hoffman. Here, 10 things to know about Francis Ford Coppola's gigantic comeback.

A retro-futurist blockbuster

The scenario of Megalopolis it's halfway between modern New York and Ancient Rome. Coppola was inspired by James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses (1922) with Homer in the context of modern Dublin.

It was supposed to be filmed in Cinecittà

Originally, Coppola's Megalopolis was supposed to be rebuilt in the Cinecittà Studios. Filming, however, took place at Trilith Studios in Georgia with a less expensive and more traditional greenscreen approach.

Megalopolis or Metropolis?

Megalopolis 10 things to know about Francis Ford Coppola's film

Coppola's sci-fi blockbuster is indebted to Metropolis by Fritz Lang. A cornerstone of science fiction cinema (1927) which influenced masterpieces such as Star Wars, Blade Runner, Terminators, Matrix.

Driver in place of Bale

Megalopolis 10 things to know about Francis Ford Coppola's film

Before Adam Driver was cast, Coppola thought of Christian Bale for the lead role.

Cesare is inspired by the visionary architect of the Big Apple

The character of Adam Driver is based on Robert Moses, the urban planner responsible for the modernization of New York. A brilliant yet controversial figure, the Pulitzer-winning biography was dedicated to Moses, Potentate (The Power Broker) written by Robert Caro.

The script resembled 9/11

Megalopolis 10 things to know about Francis Ford Coppola's film

After the attacks on the Twin Towers, during which Coppola and his team were scouting locations in New York, the footage was hidden, due to its similarity to the script, which involved a Soviet satellite crashing into Earth.

All Coppola's readings

On his Instagram account, Coppola shared a list of books the film was heavily influenced by, including: The dawn of everything (2021) by David Graeber, The chalice and the sword (1987) by Riane Eisler and The glass bead game (1943) by Hermann Hesse.

United again, 55 years after a great cult

Megalopolis marks the reunion of Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight since A man from the sidewalk.

He hadn't returned to directing for 13 years

Megalopolis 10 things to know about Francis Ford Coppola's film

Megalopolis is Coppola's first film behind the camera since Twixt.

American Zoetrope

Megalopolis 10 things to know about Francis Ford Coppola's film

The film is produced by American Zoetrope, the film studio founded by Francis Ford Coppola with his friend George Lucas, of whom he has been a mentor since his university days. The name derives from the zoetrope: an optical device forerunner of animation.

Source: Vanity Fair

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