Francis Ford Coppola is unperturbed about the obstacles he’s facing in completing his new epic, Megalopolis. After sources for The Hollywood Reporter claimed chaos on set and ballooning budgets, Coppola deflected concerns, telling Deadline that the crew turnover “was basically about managing cost.” He added, “I love my cast, I love what I’m getting each day, I am on schedule and on budget, and that’s what is important to me.”
While Deadline does confirm that the Megalopolis art department left due to creative differences, the outlet notes that making “changes on the fly” has long been a part of Coppola’s process. The director himself expressed no worries: “I’ve never worked on a film where I was so happy with the cast. I am so happy with the look and that we are so on schedule. These reports never say who these sources are. To them, I say, ha, ha, just wait and see. Because this is a beautiful film and primarily so because the cast is so great.”
“I’ve never enjoyed working with a cast who are so hardworking and so willing to go search for the unconventional, to come upon hidden solutions,” he said. “It is a thrill to work with these actors and the photography is everything I could hope for. The dailies are great. So if we’re on schedule, and I love the actors and the look is great, I don’t know what anyone’s talking about here.”
Speaking of Coppola’s dream cast, Megalopolis star Adam Driver also came to the film’s defense with a lengthy statement in which he insisted, “All good here! Not sure what set you’re talking about! I don’t recognize that one! I’ve been on sets that were chaotic and this one is far from it.”
Driver praised Coppola, his castmates, the crew, and the costume department. He stated that while it was “unfortunate” that the art department and VFX teams had left the film, it was nevertheless “inaccurate” to characterize these developments as the set “descending into chaos” because “this production is not out of pocket in comparison to other productions.” He added, “I’m very proud to be making this movie with him, and them, and though I haven’t interviewed everyone, I can confidently say that that’s the general attitude on set.”
“No one signed up for this movie expecting the process to be conventional,” Driver said. “We were expecting the opposite in the pursuit of making something unique. The only madness I’ve observed is that more productions aren’t allowed to be as creatively wild and experimentally focused, precisely because someone else is paying for it. It’s an effort and risk by Francis that I feel should be applauded, not publicly mischaracterized as troubled.”
Coppola is adamant that Megalopolis is on schedule to wrap filming in Spring 2023. “I’m interested in a theatrical release in theaters and IMAX theaters and I am excited about the possibility that for the first time in history, a movie could open up on the same day everywhere in the world,” he told Deadline. “And that’s what my goal is.” And far be it from us to doubt it, Mr. Coppola!