Francis Ford Coppola to self-fund $120m dream project

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Francis Ford Coppola’s elusive dream project seems to be closer than ever, and he plans to pay for the film from his own pocket.

As the years have rolled by, Francis Ford Coppola’s planned movie Megalopolis has begun to look increasingly like one of those passion projects that would never get made. Take a director who hasn’t worked for a decade, a wildly ambitious project and a budget that would make most studio executives balk, especially coming from a filmmaker whose tastes have never been commercially inclined, and you have all the makings of a film that will never see production.

However, Coppola has never given up on making Megalopolis and six months ago he was bullishly talking up the prospects of getting it made, offering to match outside funding “dollar for dollar”. The maverick filmmaker is very keen to get the cameras rolling this year, so keen in fact that it sounds like he’s now considering financing the whole project himself, all $120m of it.

According to a GQ interview, Coppola claims not to care whether the film makes its money back, or that the money could go to his children, stating: “I couldn’t care less about the financial impact whatsoever. It means nothing to me… well, it’s not as if $120 million is the extent of what I have. I have bequeathed much to all my children. And then they themselves, the greatest thing I bequeathed to my children is their know-how and their talent.”

It would certainly be a bold move from Coppola, who has self-funded projects before. The filmmaker part-funded The Rain People, Apocalypse Now and One From The Heart, and entirely financed Youth Without Youth and Twixt. Of course, the stakes this time are significantly higher, but you have to admire the man’s commitment to his art.

There are also some pretty exciting casting rumours swirling around, with names such as ‘Oscar Isaac, Forest Whitaker, Cate Blanchett, Jon Voight, Zendaya, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange’ and even The Godfather collaborator James Caan, said to potentially be involved.

Whilst it’s by no means a certainty still, it does seem like Coppola’s Megalopolis is closer to becoming a reality than it has ever been. We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it.

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