Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis may encounter troubles in finding a distributor due to marketing challenges

Francis Ford Coppola is a director who fights for his vision. And his latest epic is said to be facing an uphill battle in finding a buyer due to the movie’s experimental voice.

franci cord coppola adam driver megalopolis

Legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola comes from an elite group of directors who shaped the modern-day era of movies with films like The Godfather, Scorsese’s gangster epics, Spielberg’s many blockbusters and George Lucas’ pop culture phenomenon, Star Wars. Among the group, Coppola would remain at odds with the Hollywood studio system for most of his career despite being responsible for some of the most notable titles in cinema. He would also be the auteur to experiment more often and be seen as less accessible to general audiences.

Recently, Coppola would unveil his latest self-funded project, Megalopolis, which features an impressive list of actors for an all-star cast, including Adam Driver, Laurence Fishburne, Dustin Hoffman, Giancarlo Esposito and more. He premiered his film at Universal CityWalk IMAX Theater with many Hollywood stars as well as executives in attendance with the hopes of securing a buyer. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the new film from the Apocalypse Now director is looking at an “uphill battle” in finding a distributor because it has been deemed “too ‘experimental’ and ‘not good’ enough for the $100 million marketing spend envisioned by the legendary director.”

In Megalopolis, “the film follows the rebuilding of a metropolis after its accidental destruction, with two competing visions — one from an idealist architect (Adam Driver), the other from its pragmatist mayor (Giancarlo Esposito) — clashing in the process. References to ancient Rome — including Caesar haircuts on the men — abound.”

The screening was reported to be met with a standing ovation. However, a potential distributor responded after the screening, saying, “There is just no way to position this movie.” An attendee of the screening explained, “Everyone is rooting for Francis and feels nostalgic. But then there is the business side of things.” Another viewer from the screening mentioned “a conspicuous silence at the end of it,” then continued, “Does it wobble, wander, go all over the place? Yes. But it’s really imaginative and does say something about our time. I think it’s going to be a small, specialized label [that picks it up].”

While Megalopolis sounds more like the style of an A24 or NEON film, the kind of marketing budget Coppola is hoping for may be out of reach for the more modest studios. Coppola would apparently quickly sign a deal if a studio is willing to spend in the vicinity of $40 million domestically, and $80 million to $100 million globally for the prints and advertising in the marketing campaign.

Source: THR

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.