Francis Ford Coppola, the filmmaker behind some of the greatest movies of all-time (and also Jack), including The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now, hasn’t directed a feature in a decade. But he’s been trying to make Megalopolis for decades. “The concept of the film is a Roman epic, in the traditional Cecile B. DeMille or Ben-Hur way, but told as a modern counterpart focusing on America,” he explained to Deadline. Megalopolis will cost in the $100-120 million range and he’s “not afraid to risk my own money to make it happen” (this has never backfired on him before). Coppola is also hoping his dream project will have a dream cast.
While some conversations are further along then others, the actors Coppola is discussing roles with include Oscar Isaac, Forest Whitaker, Cate Blanchett, and Jon Voight, with Zendaya, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jessica Lange also among those he is seeking. He will also reunite with James Caan, whose role as Sonny Corleone in Coppola’s The Godfather made Caan one of the biggest stars of that era. This for a big tapestry film that will have many other actors in the cast.
Nothing is official yet, but Coppola is already fan-casting. “It’s based on the Catiline Conspiracy, which comes to us from ancient Rome,” he said. “This was a famous duel between a patrician, Catiline, and that part will be played by Oscar Isaac, and the famous Cicero, who will be Forest Whitaker. He is now the beleaguered mayor of New York, during a financial crisis, close to the one that Mayor Dinkins had. This story takes place in a new Rome, a Roman epic sent in modern times. The time set is not a specific year in modern New York, it’s an impression of modern New York, which I call New Rome.”
He didn’t specify which character he wants Zendaya to play, or how she got on the 82-year-old’s radar. Maybe he’s a big fan of Euphoria.