Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis adds Adam Driver and more to starry cast: Why we're excited
The director of The Godfather wants to make one more cinematic magnum opus before the end of his career, and now the cast has officially been set. EW can confirm that Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis will star Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, and Jon Voight. It's set to begin shooting this fall.
We don't know much yet about what characters these actors are playing, but there are still plenty of reasons to be excited about Megalopolis. For one thing, it's great to see Driver continue to maximize his artistry by working with the best directors alive; if this schedule holds, he'll be filming Megalopolis after shooting another film with Michael Mann this summer. And after making her name in popular franchises like Game of Thrones and The Fast and the Furious, Emmanuel will hopefully now have an opportunity to spread her wings further under an auteur like Coppola.
The heady days of the New Hollywood '70s — when Coppola created artistic films aimed at a popular audience alongside peers like Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, and William Friedkin — can feel like a distant dream in our current age of corporate blockbusters where individual directors' aesthetics often feel less important than franchise continuity and house style. With Megalopolis, Coppola is aiming to bring back that lost magic by finally making a film he's been chasing for decades. It's also exciting that he's actually making a new film instead of re-editing past films like Apocalypse Now or The Godfather Part III as he has been doing for the past several years.
As for what Megalopolis is about, the logline reads: "The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius, and conflicted love." If that sounds too abstract, Coppola has gone into more detail in previous interviews, telling GQ in February that the film is "a love story" involving "a woman divided between loyalties to two men. But not only two men. Each man comes with a philosophical principle. One is her father who raised her, who taught her Latin on his lap and is devoted to a much more classical view of society, the Marcus Aurelius kind of view. The other one, who is the lover, is the enemy of the father but is dedicated to a much more progressive 'Let's leap into the future.'"
In an age of overdetermined focus on plot synopses and familiar source material, there's a refreshing vagueness to those descriptions from Coppola — especially since he's also said he wants Megalopolis to be such a personal work of art that viewers can debate its meaning for generations to come.
The title certainly harkens back to Metropolis, the massively influential 1927 silent sci-fi film that also featured grand figures debating big questions of politics and social organization. Metropolis also gave birth to sci-fi cinema as we know it (look it up the next time you see C-3PO). But whether or not Megalopolis involves robots, it's definitely exhilarating that Coppola is evoking the grand history of cinema as he embarks on his next (and possibly last) grand cinematic project.