Coppola Film Has Reportedly 'Descended Into Chaos'

'Megalopolis' set in Atlanta said to be mired in mass firings/resignations, spiking costs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2023 9:01 AM CST
Coppola Film Has Reportedly 'Descended Into Chaos'
Director Francis Ford Coppola attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 21 in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Just a few weeks ago, all seemed to be chugging along on the set of Megalopolis, the latest film in the works by Francis Ford Coppola, with a star-studded cast that includes Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Talia Shire, Dustin Hoffman, and Forest Whitaker. But appearances were apparently cloaking what's going on behind the scenes, with Vulture noting that the movie set in Atlanta seems to be mired in "Apocalypse Now levels of stress," complete with an escalating budget and the exit of several key crew members.

The Hollywood Reporter describes the set as having "descended into chaos," only about halfway through the film's shooting schedule. Sources say Coppola fired almost the entire visual effects team in early December, with the rest of the department leaving soon after; over the past week, the film also lost its production designer and supervising art director. A source says that, between crew members quitting and Coppola canning people, the movie now lacks an art department. "It was absolute madness, being on set," says one talent rep whose client was fired.

The $120 million film has also apparently had to shift to more green-screen effects, as production technologies that Coppola—who THR notes has never made a movie with lots of effects—was trying to employ were running costs way up. The project is being self-funded by the 83-year-old director, in part from the millions he received from selling his North California wineries in 2021.

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A production source tells THR it's unclear whether the movie will be able to wrap up its shoot, which had been set to run for about 80 to 90 days. That would prove a huge blow for the acclaimed director, famous for mass firings on 1992's Dracula and for a similarly messy set on 1979's Apocalypse Now. "You can imagine how much he's already got invested," a production executive says. "It would be a very bitter pill not to finish it." (Read more Francis Ford Coppola stories.)

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