Francis Ford Coppola Drops ‘Megalopolis’ Teaser Trailer & Says The Film Is The Best Work Of His Career

Megalopolis movie
Francis Ford Coppola

For a filmmaker who directed acclaimed masterpieces such as The Godfather saga, Apocalypse Now, and The Conversation among many other credits, it’s no small news that Francis Ford Coppola considers his long-gestating passion project Megalopolis to be his magnum opus.

Coppola has always been a maverick who clashed for creative control with major studios. Rather than go through some of that red tape, the legend who just turned 85 last month financed the whole damn thing himself. Over $100 million dollars. Attached to the trailer below is a description from Coppola in which he says, “Our new film MEGALOPOLIS is the best work I’ve ever had the privilege to preside over.

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We’ll get into the dizzying details of the trailer here soon. First, it can’t be emphasized enough how big of a deal this movie is on so many levels. The proliferation of streaming has given rise to an overwhelming amount of content. One upside to that is giving filmmakers and showrunners more creative latitude for original ideas. The drawback is that streamers are racing to produce original content, and a lot of projects can get lost in the shuffle. Lots of oversaturation happening right now. When it comes to theatrically released films, most of the ambitious movies that get the green light are big preexisting IP, superhero franchises, or something of that variety. The only directors who basically get creative carte blanche nowadays are Christopher Nolan and soon-retiring Quentin Tarantino.

Coppola is taking a $120 million big swing with Megalopolis, has a superstar cast at his disposal, and even at this late stage of his career, 13 years removed from when he directed his last feature, the man is making something as fresh and original as anything that’s come out in recent years.

OK so as for the trailer. You can never go wrong with a Laurence Fishburne voiceover at the top. The setting is New York City, but sort of a distorted, dystopian version of it. Just on the basis of the fact that there are massive statues that shapeshift, I believe Megalopolis will lean heavy into surrealism and postmodernism, therefore creating a fickle, time-distorted narrative. Blending those exotic elements with a fable that draws major inspiration from the Roman Empire should make for a compelling watch no matter how nontraditional/not-straightforward the plot is.

We get so many quick shots and cuts in the trailer that it’s hard to process it all. I think that’s the point. How about this trifecta of snippets: A cloud with a human hand that grabs the moon, cut to space to see a Russian satellite, followed by a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance by Dustin Hoffman. This is going to be a visual feast to say the least. An awesome acting showcase for Adam Driver in the lead role, too, and I’m sure most of the cast will have plenty of interesting things to do. Shia LaBeouf seems to have shaved his eyebrows and looks a little scary. Again, you basically have to pause the trailer to get a good look at him or anyone else.

Early screenings for Megalopolis have referred to it as “batsh*t” Some have said it’s not good. Then again, I’m pulling that from a story when distribution for the movie was thought to be almost impossible, yet even before its proper premiere at Cannes Film Festival this week, distribution in Europe is secured.

The funny thing is Apocalypse Now was hardly a critical darling upon its release, only to be heralded as one of the best movies of all-time in retrospect. Not saying we’ll see a similar arc for Megalopolis, but it’s most definitely in play. That’s what tends to happen with a visionary director such as Coppola. I don’t know how the hell Megalopolis will ultimately turn out or be received by the public. I just know I’m so hyped to see whatever it is Coppola has been cooking for the better part of 40 years before he could fund it and shoot it.

Coppola recently revealed a clip starring Driver’s character Caesar. Almost needless to say based on this first look, those of us who’ll go down the Megalopolis rabbit hole with Coppola are in for a hell of a trip.

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