The masterful film director behind “The Godfather”, “Apocalypse Now” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” has a reputation for pouring his own money into his projects, sometimes with lucrative results and sometimes near bankruptcy. In a recent Deadline interview, Francis Ford Coppola spoke about a long-term project in which he would like to invest 100 million US dollars of his own money if necessary. And with a net worth of $ 400 million, Francis could actually pay the bill.
The project is called “Megalopolis” and Coppola has been working on it in one way or another for decades. It’s finally starting and he’s even won big names for the cast: Oscar Isaac and Forest Whitaker. This is how Coppola describes the film:
“The concept of the film is a Roman epic, narrated in the traditional way by Cecile B. DeMille or ‘Ben-Hur’ but as a modern counterpart with a focus on America… It is based on the Catiline conspiracy that came from ancient Rome too us comes This was a famous duel between a patrician, Catiline, and that role is played by Oscar Isaac, and the famous Cicero who will be Forest Whitaker, the one that Mayor Dinkins had. This story takes place in a new Rome, a Roman epic that was sent into modern times. The time setting isn’t a specific year in modern New York, it’s an impression of modern New York that I call New Rome. “
Sounds good, but it’s also not the kind of movie media companies spend $ 100 million to $ 120 million on these days. That is why Coppola says that he is ready again to raise his own money for the production of the film – even if he has to raise the entire sum himself:
“I have some private financiers who want to get involved on a partner basis and I am willing to double their money if need be … The more money I have to raise, the more complicated it becomes for me, but I am able to to do it. I am able to walk all the distance if I really have to. It would be hard for me or anyone to raise $ 100 million to make a utopian dream of a movie, but that hasn’t happened impossible. It was in the news that I just sold one of my wineries to another company. So I’m in a position where I have no money but I can borrow it. So basically I’m in the same position I was in that Dream Studio period where I want to see the dream come true and I’m not afraid of risking my own money to make it come true. “
Coppola is known to nearly lose his (now extremely lucrative) vineyards due to his financial involvement in “Apocalypse Now” (which later became a box office hit and popular classic) and nearly went bankrupt with his experimental musical “One from the Heart”. in the early 80s (which it didn’t). So if he ends up getting into this newest company himself, he has at least some relevant experience.
Putting your own money into a project, especially one as expensive as “Megalopolis”, is a well-known taboo in Hollywood and does not happen very often. But Coppola is obviously ready and willing to do it if it needs to be to get his film done.