Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel And Forest Whittaker Among The Cast For Megalopolis

Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whittaker

by James White |
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It's been a long, tough road for Francis Ford Coppola as he's attempted to make his passion project, Megalopolis. Cast choices and financial backing have come and gone across two decades, but he's held on to the idea and is finally close to making it. Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne and Jon Voight are leading the cast.

That's a shift from last year, when he came close with Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange, with Whitaker and Voight currently the only two holdovers from that last effort.

Here's the basic logline: "The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius, and conflicting interests."

Talking to Deadline, Coppola explained a little more: "The concept of the film is a Roman epic, in the traditional Cecile B. DeMille or Ben-Hur way, but told as a modern counterpart focusing on America," he said. "It’s based on The Catiline Conspiracy, which comes to us from ancient Rome. This was a famous duel between a patrician, Catiline (now Driver), and the famous Cicero, who will be Forest Whitaker. He is now the beleaguered mayor of New York, during a financial crisis, close to the one that Mayor Dinkins had. This story takes place in a new Rome, a Roman epic sent in modern times. The time set is not a specific year in modern New York, it’s an impression of modern New York, which I call New Rome."

The director is taking a huge risk with this one, pouring millions of his own money into it (the budget is reportedly close to $100 million as it stands right now), but rather than seeking profits, he's looking to leave behind a solid addition to his legacy. Which, considering it already contains The Godfather movies and Apocalypse Now, is far from lacking.

Shooting is scheduled to kick off at last in the autumn. Now we wait. And hope...

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