Megalopolis | New trailer emerges ahead of its Cannes debut

Megalopolis trailer
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Francis Ford Coppola’s baroque epic Megalopolis has a new trailer ahead of its premiere at Cannes this week. It’s quite something.

Francis Ford Coppola’s long-in-gestation film Megalopolis makes its debut at the Cannes Film Festival this week. And while industry reactions to it have been mixed so far, Coppola’s self-described ‘Roman epic fable’ clearly has some spectacular visuals.

The new trailer, which you can find below, provides a glimpse at a grand baroque-looking drama that imagines New York as an empire on the edge of collapse. There are decadent parties, chariot races, and Shia LaBeouf hopping about in a toga. There are collapsing buildings, what may or may not be a meteor strike, and dreamlike images straight out of a Buñuel flick.

Aside from the years or writing, rewriting, planning and false starts, the production of Megalopolis was, according to several accounts, fraught with difficulties. A piece published by The Guardian paints a grim portrait of a shoot plagued by indecision, technical setbacks, and more darkly, allegations of sexual impropriety on Coppola’s part.

With the film now finished, there’s now the tricky part of finding distribution: it’s found backing in the UK, France and other European countries, but has yet to find a company willing to market and screen it in US cinemas. Given that Coppola has spent millions of his own money on the movie, he’ll need the widest release possible to increase the chances of at least breaking even.

Megalopolis stars Adam Driver as architect Cesar Catilina, “a genius artist who seeks to leap into a utopian, idealistic future,” according to a logline published by TheWrap. His plans to rebuild a fictionalised Manhattan are challenged by its mayor, Franklyn Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito) who’s “committed to a regressive status quo, perpetuating greed, special interests, and partisan warfare.”

It all points to a grand and rather strange collision of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, classical history, and the utopianism of HG Wells. There’s also the curious plot detail that, as well as being an expert draftsman, Driver’s character also has the ability to stop time – something illustrated in an earlier teaser clip released just over a week ago:

Megalopolis premieres in competition at the Cannes Film Festival on the 17th May. Will it be a triumph or a disaster? Time will tell.

Read more: Megalopolis | Francis Ford Coppola epic gets distribution in UK and other European countries

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