Very bad news from Atlanta, where Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis” is currently filming. A shooting that would have sunk into chaos, threatening the production to stop dead. In question, a large wave of dismissals and voluntary departures, coupled with an exploding production budget.
The project Megalopolis at worst
While the production of Francis Ford Coppola’s great film is about halfway through, nothing is going well on the set of Megalopolis. Project carried by its director for decades, Megalopolis had however started its production well and made the news in particular for its impressive cast. With in particular Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza and Dustin Hoffman, Francis Ford Coppola saw very big for his science fiction film self-funded to the height of $120 million.
But, and this is not so surprising since we are talking here about a filming of the author ofApocalypse Nowthe news is bad and it is rumored that production could be interrupted.
Dismissals and resignations in shambles
According to multiple sources of The Hollywood Reporter, Megalopoliss has indeed just lost in the week of January 1, 2023 key members of the artistic team, in particular production designer Beth Mickle and director and artistic supervisor David Scott. Two departures which are not an isolated event, since Francis Ford Coppola fired most of the special effects department on December 9, 2022before the rest of the team leaves as well.
Not a first for the legendary filmmaker, who had done the same during the filming of his Dracula in 1992. An agent for one of the art department members fired from filming explained that this dismissal was ultimately a relief :
On this shoot, it was absolute madness.
An exploding budget
Recently, it was announced that Megalopolis would be shot with one of the most advanced technologies for its CGI: the Volume LED. An unprecedented technology close to that inaugurated by the series of The Mandalorian, and whose cost seems to have unfortunately increased considerably. In any case, this would be the reason that would lead the production to return to a more traditional approach, with classic green screens. Undoubtedly heartbreaking for the filmmaker, who developed an excessive artistic ambition with Megalopolis. One of the production executives told The Hollywood Reporter :
There is no right answer… Coppola will have to invest more than he imagined. You can imagine how much he has already invested… It would be a very bitter pill to swallow if he didn’t finish the film.
Chaos therefore seems to have completely taken hold of the filming of Megalopolis. A bad for a good ? Let us recall that the exceptional conditions of the filming ofApocalypse Now finally gave birth toone of the greatest films in the history of cinema. But at the time, as Francis Ford Coppola told the Cannes Film Festival in 2022, there was “too much money” and “too much equipment” to keep the team healthy. Or apparently the opposite problem to that of Megalopolis…