Francis Ford Coppola's Epic Megalopolis Drops First Trailer

Megalopolis, the long-awaited film from director Francis Ford Coppola, is gaining traction. The film, which the 85-year-old director self-funded, has yet to find a distributor in the United States.  

With first-look photographs revealed earlier this week and today's trailer, its fortunes may soon change: according to Coppola, the $120 million epic will be offered to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival, where it will make its formal competition debut on May 16.  

The cast of the film includes Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Giancarlo Esposito, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, and Laurence Fishburne.   

What it's about is far more difficult to quantify: in an interview with Vanity Fair, the filmmaker mentioned H.G. Wells, the September 11 attacks, and a 63 BC conflict between Roman senator Cicero and an insurrectionist named Catiline.  

"The story would take place in a somewhat stylized New York City, portrayed as the centre of the world's power, and Cicero would be the mayor during a period of great financial upheaval, such as the financial crisis under former Mayor Dinkins," the director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now wrote to explain the 40-year evolution of his Megalopolis script.  

"Cesar, in turn, would be a master builder, a great architect, designer, and scientist combining elements of Robert Moses, as portrayed in the brilliant biography The Power Broker, with architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes, or Walter Gropius."  

We don't see any of it in the video, which depicts a black-clad Driver walking off the edge of a domed skyscraper and appearing to pause time.  

Those who attended an April screening in Los Angeles may have a better understanding of how the teaser will play out in the final picture, in which Driver's character—an architect determined to reconstruct a damaged city—opposes a corrupt mayor (Esposito) who likes the status quo.  

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