At 82, Francis Ford Coppola sells vineyards to shoot “Megalopolis”, which will cost him US $ 100 million

“I’m still willing to make my dream movie, even if I have to put up my money, and I can put in $ 100 million if I have to. I don’t want to, but I will do it if necessary. “

What filmmaker is able to put his own money into a movie? The directors who have the final cut -the definitive version of their films: nobody tells them what to wear, what to take out or what to change-, at least in the Hollywood system, they count on the fingers of their hands: Spielberg, Scorsese, Cameron , Nolan, Eastwood.

Big. Spielberg, Scorsese, De Palma, Lucas and Coppola at a birthday celebration for the director of “Star Wars”. Photo Clarín Archive

And we are not forgetting Francis Ford Coppola, the man who had already lost everything to a dream (One From the Heart) when at the beginning of the ’80s he was betting that other media, such as video and digital, were going to supplant the film. Well, he was right, but at the time it seems that he was not, because he got into debt until what he did not have and had to continue filming and directing films on request (he even erased with his elbow what he wrote with his hand when doing Stone gardens, the counterpart of Apocalypse Now).

Well, that man, who is no longer 40 years old, but 82, is willing to put the money that he will collect – because he still does not have it – for the sale of part of his vineyards in the Napa Valley and film Megalopoliss.

Coppola with part of the cast of "Tetro", which filmed in Argentina in 2008. Photo Néstor Sieira

Coppola with part of the cast of “Tetro”, which filmed in Argentina in 2008. Photo Néstor Sieira

Fans of the director of the trilogy of The Godfather have heard about the project. Coppola has been dreaming and kneading it for forty years. 20 years ago, in 2001, he had it in pre-production, but the attack on the Twin Towers paralyzed him. To the project, not to him.

Now he’s determined to film it.

The director speaks to the press at the Toronto Film Festival where he presented his latest film, "Twixt", in September 2011. AP Photo

The director speaks to the press at the Toronto Film Festival where he presented his latest film, “Twixt,” in September 2011. AP Photo

And it has several stars praised. Some conversations are more advanced than others, but Oscar Isaac, Forest Whitaker, Cate Blanchett and Jon Voight would be confirmed. Director of The conversation wants Zendaya, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange, who would join James Caan, who was Sonny Corleone in the first The Godfather and turned him into a figure. OK, almost 50 years ago.

Emboldened, Coppola is ready to take out new loans and film, in the autumn of 2022, a hopeful film that seeks a young audience, because it will tell that a society like this, in which we live, is not the only alternative available.

“I do not have the entire cast approved, but I have enough to trust that it will be a very exciting cast,” he told Deadline the director who came to shoot Tetro (2009) to Argentina-. The movie will cost between $ 100 million and $ 120 million. Needless to say, I hope it is closer to $ 100 million. “

Al Pacino talks to Coppola on the set of "The Godfather III".  At the end of 2020 Francis presented a new edition of the film.  Photo Clarín Archive

Al Pacino talks to Coppola on the set of “The Godfather III”. At the end of 2020 Francis presented a new edition of the film. Photo Clarín Archive

These last few years, in which he did not film – his last film is Twixt (2011), horror comedy with Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning, never commercially released in Argentina-, Coppola has dropped considerably in weight and has not stood still. Created new versions The Godfather III, which titled The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, Apocalypse Now and The Cotton Club. And it’s got restored versions of The Rain People and The outcasts.

"Everyone wants to do the next Marvel one, but no one wants to make one that speaks to young people hopefully", He says.  Photo Clarín Archive

“Everybody wants to do the next Marvel one, but nobody wants to make one that speaks to young people hopefully,” he says. Photo Clarín Archive

“Do you know that I own the negative of Apocalypse Now, and do you know why I have it? “, he continued in his talk with Deadline. “Because nobody wanted it. AND Apocalypse Now these years he earns almost as much as what we get from The Godfather. Everybody wants to do the next Marvel movie, but nobody wants to make a movie that really speaks to young people in a hopeful way, that we are in a position to come together and solve whatever problems come our way. That’s what I think”.

What will “Megalopolis” be about?

Guatemalan Oscar Isaac poses this Friday 3 in Venice, at the presentation of "Danube".  Will star "Megalopolis".  ANSA photo

The Guatemalan Oscar Isaac poses this Friday the 3rd in Venice, in the presentation of “Duna”. He will star in “Megalopolis”. ANSA photo

Coppola sets his script in a contemporary but futuristic New York, and the seemingly long story has its origins in ancient Rome.

An architect’s utopia is to rebuild New York after a devastating disaster. More current, impossible. “The concept of the film is a Roman epic, in the traditional way of Cecil B. DeMille or Ben-Hur, but counted as a modern counterpart centered in the United States ”.

Forest Whitaker will be the mayor of New York in "Megalopolis".  AFP photo

Forest Whitaker will be the mayor of New York in “Megalopolis.” AFP photo

The basis is the conspiracy of Catilina, who was a Roman patrician and who will be played today by Oscar Isaac, who wanted to take power. And Cicero, who will be Forest Whitaker, is the mayor of New York that is going through a financial crisis. A Roman epic: “It is an impression of modern New York, which I call New Rome.”

And if Rome wasn’t built in a day, it may well take Coppola more than four decades to make his film. If he succeeds, well he deserves it.

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At 82, Francis Ford Coppola sells vineyards to shoot “Megalopolis”, which will cost him US $ 100 million