Last summer, Francis Ford Coppola announced that he was so determined to finally make his long-gestating sci-fi epic Megalopolis that he was willing to put up millions and millions of dollars from his own pocket to do it—and seeing as how he thinks the movie could cost $100 million, that might mean a pretty lean Christmas at the vineyard this year. But with that determination apparently comes an ability to make some fairly surprising things happen… like assembling cast that is alllmost phenomenal. It’s so close to being really good. So very close. And yet….
The Hollywood Reporter says that Megalopolis will star Laurence Fishburne, Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker (one of Coppola’s early picks from last year), and… heavy sigh… Jon Voight. But that’s just the kind of magic that can happen when one wealthy filmmaker is footing a huge chunk of the bill for his dream project: You can get bankable stars like Adam Driver and you can get absolute poison like Jon Voight. Is that a good thing? Probably not, because Jon Voight is a Trump-worshipping right-wing creep, but it’s definitely a thing of some kind.
As for Megalopolis, it’s something that Coppola has wanted to make for decades that he envisions as some kind of shift in what kinds of movies are being made (and maybe how they’re made) in addition to being a lesson to young people that it is possible to make a better world. More specifically, it’s some kind of alternate history story involving a modern-day version of the Roman Empire, centering on an alternate version of New York City and a power struggle between a rich guy and the city’s mayor. Coppola had wanted Whitaker to play the mayor and Oscar Isaac to play the rich guy when he talked about this last year, so we’d guess that Adam Driver will be the one taking on that role instead.
There’s no word on when this might actually start being filmed or if Coppola is still open to auditioning some other older white guys for the Voight role, but it’s weird and exciting that this all seems to be finally happening.