Why Francis Ford Coppola Is Personally Financing His Massive Movie Megalopolis

Acclaimed wine salesman and occasional Academy Award winner Francis Ford Coppola will not give up on his dream project "Megalopolis." The script was first written back in the 1980s but Coppola continued to tinker with it until 2001, where the September 11 attacks made any attempt at making a movie about New York City being rebuilt after a disaster a touchy subject.

Back in 2019, however, Coppola changed his mind. Despite not filming a feature since 2011's "Twixt," the director announced he was chasing his dream project once and for all. Sadly, the age of superhero movies and streamers makes it difficult for any filmmaker to raise millions of dollars to make weird passion projects not involving capes, so Coppola has had some troubles finding enough financing to make "Megalopolis." Still, he won't give up, and last year Coppola said he was willing to spend his own money to make the project happen — like a lot of his money. Now, he explains why "Megalopolis" is the movie that he wants to make so much that he'll self-finance it.

A Roman epic about futuristic New York

During a 50th anniversary screening for "The Godfather" (via The Hollywood Reporter), Coppola opened up about why he'd finance his passion project. "There's a certain way everyone thinks a film should be, and it rubs against the grain if you have another idea," Coppola said. "People can be very unaccepting but sometimes the other idea represents what's coming in the future. That is worthy of being considered."

Though details on "Megalopolis" are scarce, old reports from 2001 say the super-sized 212-page script follows an architect trying to build a utopia within a futuristic New York. The story focuses on the battle over whether the city should remain firmly in the past or embrace the future. Over the years, a number of actors have been attached to the project, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Coppola confirms Cate Blanchett, Oscar Issac and Forest Whitaker are involved with the project, with Jon Voight also in discussions to join the cast after previously teaming up with Coppola for "The Rainmaker."

Coppola is no stranger to pursuing passion projects no matter how ill-advised or against the current they seem. It's easy to see in hindsight how much of a success "Apocalypse Now" is, but at its time, Coppola financed part of the project, which was seen as a big risk. On the other hand, Coppola also self-funded the musical romantic epic "One From the Heart" which, despite some incredible and novel filmmaking techniques, was considered a critical and commercial disaster.

Let's hope "Megalopolis" fares better. In any case, we'll always have Francis' wine.