Source: Flickr/Gerald Geronimo

Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola screened his long-awaited, self-funded $120m epic Megalopolis to buyers in Los Angeles on Thursday (March 28) after years of speculation and a lengthy production schedule.

Universal’s Donna Langley and Sony’s Tom Rothman were among studio heads who according to reports mingled with the likes of Darren Aronofsky, Roger Corman, Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage and Andy Garcia in a crowd said to number more than 300 at Universal CityWalk’s Imax theatre.

The epic story stars Adam Driver as Caesar, a driven architect striving to rebuild a massive city who falls in love with Julia (Nathalie Emmanuel), the daughter of rival Mayor Frank Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito).

Aubrey Plaza, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman, Kathryn Hunter and Shia LaBeouf also star, and Laurence Fishburne narrates the film, which is said to run to approximately two hours and 13 minutes excluding credits.

Deadline first reported on the screening and said Coppola’s lawyer Barry Hirsch, who also served as a producer, will help the filmmaker shop Megalopolis to distributors. Coppola sold part of his vineyard to finance the production.

Megalopolis features in Screen’s Cannes 2024: What’s In The Running? feature and the thinking in Hollywood is a Croisette slot might come to fruition should a deal fall into place in time.

Should that not happen soon, the film is likely to turn up at a major festival later in the year like Venice, Telluride, Toronto, or New York Film Festival.

Last year Coppola, who won the Palme d’Or with The Conversation in 1974 and Apocalypse Now in 1979 and also directed the Godfather trilogy among many other films, denied reports the budget had sky-rocketed and there had been chaos on set.

His most recent film as director was the 2016 coming-of-age tale Distant Vision. Prior to that the fantasy horror Twixt came out in 2011, the drama Tetro in 2009, and the mystery Youth Without Youth in 2007.