Since the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola has dreamed of making a passion project he’s long called Megalopolis. The sprawling story would center around an architect’s drive to rebuild New York City as a utopia following a devastating disaster. Coppola even began shooting second unit footage for the film — right before the 9/11 terror attacks. Unsurprisingly, the movie’s plot suddenly becoming too close to reality forced production to immediately halt.
Now, however, over 30 years after first hatching the idea, Coppola is ready to finally make the movie. Speaking to Deadline, he said he intended to get things going before the year is out. “I plan this year to begin my longstanding ambition to make a major work utilizing all I have learned during my long career, beginning at age 16 doing theater, and that will be an epic on a grand scale, which I’ve titled Megalopolis,” he said.
He went on to explain the scale of the production, something he says out paces much of even today’s biggest blockbusters:
“It is unusual; it will be a production on a grand scale with a large cast. It makes use of all of my years of trying films in different styles and types culminating in what I think is my own voice and aspiration. It is not within the mainstream of what is produced now, but I am intending and wishing and in fact encouraged, to begin production this year.”
Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. has heard word that Jude Law is circling a starring role, though no casting has yet been confirmed. Actors attached in the past over the production’s various stages include Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, and Russell Crowe.
The news comes as Coppola is getting ready to debut a new cut of Apocalypse Now, entitled Apocalypse Now Final Cut, at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. His last directorial effort came in 2011 with the experimental horror film Twixt.