Legendary Godfather filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola slams reports about a runaway budget and production chaos for his new film Megalopolis.
Legendary director of The Godfather Francis Ford Coppola responded to reports regarding the growing budget of his newest film, Megalopolis.
In an interview with Deadline on the Atlanta set of Megalopolis, Coppola discussed recent reports about numerous production troubles on the set of his science-fiction epic. The report used words like “peril,” “ballooning budget,” “crew exodus” and “chaos” to describe the turnover in the visual effects and art departments, which Coppolla disputed.
The director described the termination of the VFX team as part of his plan to manage the film’s $100 million budget, while the art department’s departure was supposedly due to creative differences. “It was basically about managing cost,” Coppola said. The director maintained that the only drama happening on set is taking place in front of the cameras.
No Trouble in Megalopolis, Says Coppola
“I’ve never worked on a film where I was so happy with the cast,” he said. “I am so happy with the look and that we are so on schedule. These reports never say who these sources are. To them, I say, ha, ha, just wait and see. Because this is a beautiful film and primarily so because the cast is so great. I’ve never enjoyed working with a cast who are so hardworking and so willing to go search for the unconventional, to come upon hidden solutions. It is a thrill to work with these actors and the photography is everything I could hope for. The dailies are great. So if we’re on schedule, and I love the actors and the look is great, I don’t know what anyone’s talking about here.”
Coppola’s films have been notorious for behind-the-scenes drama ever since he helmed The Godfather in 1972. 1979’s Apocalypse Now saw a change in the lead actor when Harvey Keitel was replaced by Martin Sheen and went nine months over its original five-month shooting schedule. Additionally, 1982’s One from the Heart was so ambitious as a stylized musical that the budget ballooned from $15 million to $23 million.
Adam Driver, who is set to star in Megalopolis, also responded to the reports of chaos on the film’s set. “I’ve been on sets that were chaotic and this one is far from it,” the actor said. While the film does not yet have a release date, Coppola stated that Megalopolis will be finished by the spring of 2023, adding that “we’re totally on schedule, which is hard to do on a big picture.” He said, “I don’t know how many films can say that eight weeks in but we are and that’s a fact.”
Megalopolis is a dream project for Coppola and will be self-produced through his company American Zoetrope. Per the film’s synopsis, Megalopolis will follow “the process of replacing a ravaged metropolis with a utopian rebuild.” Along with Driver, the film boasts an all-star cast including Forest Whitaker, Natalie Emmanuel, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman, Shia LaBeouf, Talia Shire and Dustin Hoffman.
Megalopolis does not have a release date.