Francis Ford Coppola assures audiences that “Megalopolis” was great fun to film, despite rumors of “chaos” on the set.
The Oscar winner revealed in an interview with Expiration along with Kevin Costner who can see the parallel between the rumors surrounding the infamous production of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and now, almost half a century later, ‘Megalopolis’. The epic film, which Coppola described as a futuristic “love story,” carries a staggering price tag of more than $120 million which Coppola financed himself.
Production wrapped in March 2023 amid reports of creative turmoil over the project, which stars Adam Driver, Shia LaBeouf, Forest Whitaker, Aubrey Plaza, Giancarlo Esposito, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Jason Schwartzman and Dustin Hoffman.
“Well, ‘Apocalypse Now’ has been editing for months and months and months. And because it was made in the Philippines, it was a bit mysterious,” Coppola said. “(With ‘Megalopolis’) it was more of the same thing. it was not a source.
Coppola continued, “From my perspective, I was on schedule, which, in a big, difficult film, is hard to do. I love my actors and there isn’t one I would change. The film has a style that exceeded my expectations. This is honestly how I feel. Most important is the life the film might have when it finally coalesce and blossoms.
He added: “In ‘The Godfather II’ it was three weeks before a devastating preview. And ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ had a terrible preview, then two weeks later, it came together. Movies can change their chemistry… But I am grateful to be in the position to be able to make a film that haunts me that I think will be wonderful, that will shed light on the subject of what the future might be like and what will be human beings are indeed similar. I’m as happy as I could be.
A January 2023 report confirmed that visual effects production supervisor Mark Russell, production designer Beth Mickle and supervising art director David Scott had left “Megalopolis”, with the VFX team parting ways in December 2022. A source told IndieWire that creative differences between Coppola and select crew members led to their respective departures.
The film is about an architect who tries to rebuild New York as a utopia after an apocalyptic disaster.
The creative team change prompted a statement from the Art Directors Guild that it would look into the situation to “ensure adequate staffing and scheduling.” Next was hired new production designer Bradley Rubin of “The Mandalorian” and “A Star Is Born.”
“Megalopolis” actor Adam Driver has previously praised Coppola for being a “brave” director who was “pushing” the film to be “as creative as possible.”
“’Megalopolis’ is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been a part of, with Francis (Ford Coppola) in particular,” Driver said. “It’s one of the best shooting experiences he’s ever had. And the things that he’s done, there’s no frame of reference for that. It is so unique and creative and hopefully accessible to all. Which isn’t so elusive as to be for a certain audience, it’s for everyone. And it’s everything you hope it to be.
The ‘Marriage Story’ actor previously told IndieWire in a statement that while there have been departures on set from members of the creative team, production has been going well despite conflicting reports.
“All right here! Not sure what set you’re talking about! I don’t recognize that! I’ve been on chaotic sets and this is anything but,” Driver said. “The environment created by Francis is one of focus and inspiration. As of right now, we’re on schedule, we’re going about our day, and honestly, it’s been one of the best shooting experiences I’ve had. Our crew is quick and inventive, our costume department is perfect, the actors are incredible and hard-working, and Francis is one of the most insightful and thoughtful people to work with. I’m very proud to be shooting this film with him and with them, and while I haven’t interviewed everyone, I can confidently say that’s the general attitude on set.”