Love or hate his movies, you have to respect Francis Ford Coppola’s willingness to bet on himself. (Also, how do you hate the guy who made The GodfatherApocalypse Now, and The Conversation? He’s had an incredible career.) Coppola nearly went bankrupt self-financing One From the Heart; after the movie (which is a masterpiece) bombed, he spent years paying off his debts.

His financial situation has improved considerably in recent years thanks to the enduring popularity of his classic films (and the enduring popularity of his wine business) and now he says he’s ready to stake another large personal fortune on a dream project he’s wanted to make for decades. It’s called Megalopolis, and Coppola has hoped to shoot it since around the time of One From the Heart. He says today that it could cost between $100 million and $120 million to make it— which he will pay for himself, if necessary.

Coppola told Deadline:

I think the big news here is that I am still the same as I was 20 years ago or 40 years ago. I’m still willing to do the dream picture, even if I have to put up my own money, and I am capable of putting up $100 million if I have to here. I don’t want to, but I will do it if I have to.

He also described the film as an optimistic vision that updates a classic Roman tale to modern New York City. Coppola compared the film to Ben-Hur in terms of its epic scope and scale, and says the film will star Oscar Isaac and Forest Whitaker in the two lead roles: A patrician and the mayor of New York City during a financial crisis, respectively. Coppola also noted that he recently sold one of his wineries and so he’s in “a position where I don’t have the money but I can borrow it... I want to see the dream come true and I am not afraid to risk my own money to make it happen.”

It sounds like an incredible, and wildly ambitious project, and major kudos to Coppola for wanting to mount it, potentially with his own money, at the age of 82. It’s hard to imagine anyone (except maybe Coppola’s heirs) not wanting to see this thing happen. Coppola says he hopes to shoot Megalopolis in the fall of 2022.

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