I think it’s kinda great that Francis Coppola, who will turn 80 in three or four days, is really and truly planning to direct Megalopolis, which he’s been preparing for many years and almost got rolling 18 or 19 years ago.
Deadline‘s Michael Fleming reported this earlier today.
Pic is “the story of an architect’s battle to build an ideal world…a hero’s fight to realize his dream to build a city of the future,” Coppola said in ’01.
On 9.16.15 One Room With A View‘s David Brake described the lead character, Serge Catalane, as “a genius architect, controversial icon and lover of debauchery.”
Coppola to Fleming: “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. 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.”
Megalopolis 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 said.
Due respect, but inspiration and the chance to deliver a profound artistic creation is usually something that passes through you, like stormy weather through Kansas. You either manage to do something with it or you don’t, but all film artists of note have peak periods in which they’re channelling Godly currents. Mostly this happens in their late 30s, 40s and 50s. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course, but it is not an expression of disrespect to say that Coppola is well past his spiritual and creative grace period, and that he’s almost certainly not going to get it back at age 80 or 81. He might, yes, but look at the odds.
Coppola’s last ambitious failure was 35 years ago — The Cotton Club. His 21st Century indie films — Youth Without Youth, Tetro, Twixt — were entirely negligible. He obviously had a monumental run in the ’70s. His last ambitious mixed-bagger was One From The Heart, which premiered 38 years ago. He’s had his day. We all know this.
I nonetheless find it wholly admirable and salutable that he’s planning to make Megalopolis soon. All power to him.