Update: Francis Ford Coppola responds to out-of-control budget and crew departures on Megalopolis

Francis Ford Coppola Megalopolis

Update: After yesterday’s report regarding the budget spiralling out of control on Megalopolis, Francis Ford Coppola responded to Deadline to deny the claims. “I’ve never worked on a film where I was so happy with the cast,” Coppola said. “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. 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.” Coppola acknowledges that there has been turnover among the crew, but said that the elimination of the VFX department was “basically about managing cost.” At the end of the day, Megalopolis will speak for itself. “We’ll finish the film in spring of 2023, and we’re totally on schedule, which is hard to do on a big picture,” Coppola said. “I don’t know how many films can say that eight weeks in but we are and that’s a fact.

Francis Ford Coppola began shooting his passion project, the sci-fi epic Megalopolis, late last year, but it seems that the production is going a bit out of control. Multiple sources have told THR that the set has descended into chaos, with the budget expanding out of control and key creative talents stepping down, not to mention Coppola firing the entire visual effects team back in December.

Francis Ford Coppola began writing Megalopolis in the 1980s but recognized that it would require a huge budget to match its massive scope, so it sat on a shelf for decades. The director made waves when he said that he would fund the $120 million movie himself, but that budget has grown considerably just halfway through production. One source wasn’t ever sure if the shoot could continue as planned. Another major blow is the exit of production designer Beth Mickle and supervising art director David Scott, and a source said that between firings and resignations, “the film now has no art department.” In a statement, a spokesperson for the Art Directors Guild, said, “The Art Directors Guild supports all Art Departments to ensure proper staffing and scheduling and is currently looking into the situation with Megalopolis to determine the next steps. We have no further comment at this point.

Megalopolis also features more visual effects than Francis Ford Coppola has done in the past, which includes using the same virtual production technology used on shows like The Mandalorian. Instead of continuing with that method, sources say that the rest of the production might switch to the more traditional green-screen method, but either way, sources say that Coppola is going to have to spend a lot more money than he intended to. It’s unclear why, but Coppola fired almost the entire visual effects team on December 9th, with the remainder following suit soon after. Despite all the exits, Coppola is said to be working on hiring new staff.

The film features quite the ensemble cast, including Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, and Dustin Hoffman. Megalopolis centers on an architect who seeks to rebuild New York City as a utopia after a disaster. Francis Ford Coppola is no stranger to out-of-control productions, with Apocalpyse Now still standing as the most famous example, but I hope he can get Megalopolis back on track.

Source: THR

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.