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Francis Ford Coppola's Dream Project Megalopolis Is In Jeopardy

If one were to sit down and make a list of the most well-known and influential filmmakers, it wouldn't be complete without Francis Ford Coppola. The director is responsible for such iconic titles as "The Godfather," "Apocalypse Now," "Bram Stoker's Dracula," and more — putting a host of world-renowned actors at the forefront, winning awards left and right, and innovating the filmmaking process all the while. He's more than earned his place in Hollywood history at this point, but that doesn't mean he's done working behind the camera.

Coppola's next cinematic endeavor is one that means a great deal to him, seeing as he's been chipping away at it for decades. Titled "Megalopolis," the science fiction film depicts a version of New York City in ruins. With uncertainty in the air, a skilled architect desires to rebuild the city as a sprawling utopia. Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Giancarlo Esposito, and more big-screen stars have joined the cast, surely eager to turn this long-gestating dream project into a reality. However, Coppola's silver screen dream has swiftly turned into a nightmare.

"Megalopolis" is apparently in a bad spot, so bad that one has to wonder if it will actually make it to the movies. Let's dive into the increasingly troubled production of Francis Ford Coppola's next film.

The Megalopolis set is in a state of chaos

During the afternoon of January 9, 2023, The Hollywood Reporter provided an update on Francis Ford Coppola's "Megalopolis." Sadly, it wasn't a positive one. According to the publication, the film's set has devolved into chaos in the wake of losing some key players. Following in the footsteps of the entire visual effects team, which Coppola fired from the feature in December 2022, production designer Beth Mickle and supervising art director David Scott have also reportedly left "Megalopolis" behind. THR notes that the movie is half finished, and production is still moving forward in Atlanta, Georgia, with plans to hire new staff.

At the same time, there's a whole other issue to consider: the budget. In a bold yet admirable move, Coppola made it clear from the outset that he is funding "Megalopolis" entirely on his own for the sake of creative freedom. While this appears to be a great idea on paper, it hasn't come with some headaches. The film has gotten incredibly expensive, to the point that Coppola and his team had to abandon the use of a method similar to Industrial Light & Magic's StageCraft technology and instead implement traditional greenscreen. "You can imagine how much he's already got invested. It would be a very bitter pill not to finish it," said an unnamed production executive of the situation.

On top of all this, a talent representative to one of the fired VFX team members called the "Megalopolis" set "absolute madness." Will the film pull an "Apocalypse Now" move, becoming an instant classic despite the on-set chaos and negative press? Or will it fizzle out before it's even completed? We'll just have to wait and see what the future holds for Francis Ford Coppola's next cinematic outing.