Everything about Megalopolis, as the name of Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming movie suggests, is suitably mega. Dubbed “Julius Caesar meets Blade Runner” by Mike Figgis, the director who is filming a behind-the-scenes doc on the project). From the cast (Adam Driver! Dustin Hoffman! Laurence Fishburne! Aubrey Plaza!) to the estimated USD120 million cost (self-funded by Coppola himself), there's a lot riding on the Coppola 23rd feature film.

It's apparently been in development since the ‘80s, but we're nearing showtime. Here’s everything about the production, and what to expect from one of the year’s biggest film releases.

When is Megalopolis out?

Pretty soon, as revealed by the director himself. In an Indie Wire article, Coppola said: “It’s only going to be a few months and it’ll be out.” He adds: “All I can say is I love the actors in it. It’s unusual, and it’s never boring. Other than that, wait and see.” Update: we’re still waiting and seeing.

Who is in Megalopolis?

The film, which finished shooting back in March 2023, has a cast list of stellar A-listers. This includes Adam Driver (playing Caesar), Forest Whitaker (Frank Cicero), Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza and Shia LaBeouf. On top of that, there’s Chloe Fineman, Kathryn Hunter, DB Sweeney, Talia Shire, Jason Schwartzman, Bailey Ives, Grace Vanderwaal, James Remar, and Giancarlo Esposito.

Ex-Hollyoaks actor Nathalie Emmanuel, who appeared in in Game Of Thrones and will play Megalopolis's lead, Julia Cicero.

It’s a pretty big deal for Driver, too, who poured praise upon the legendary director in an interview with Collider“It has been one of the best—without hyperbole—best shooting experiences of my life," he said. "Watching him work that crew, that design team, he has such a command over cinematic language and an archive in his mind of shots that are so beautiful. And doing something so ambitious, and on his own terms, that you would think that it would be dictatorial or really controlled, but he is the most warm, open, thoughtful, director who is just…

“He really—and this all sounds like being very general, but he really embodies this thing of like, 'We're making this experiment and we're not interested in how it comes out. We're interested in the process of making it.' And inevitably because of that, the thing that you make, there's no film reference for. I think what he's made is so unique and interesting. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of it.”

What happens in Megalopolis?

As the official synopsis of the sci-fi movie has it: “In New York, a woman, Julia Cicero, is divided between loyalties to her father, Frank, who has a classical view of society, and her architect lover, Caesar, who is more progressive and ready for the future. He wants to rebuild New York City as a utopia following a devastating disaster.”

So, yes, it’s kind of a sci-fi modern retelling of the Caesar story, but Coppola told Deadline that he saw it as more of a love story. “I am grateful to be in the position to be able to make a film that haunts me and that I feel will be wonderful, that will shed light on the subject of what the future might be like and what human beings are really like. I am as happy as I could be.”

Coppola also shrugged off the rumours about unrest on set, following claims by The Hollywood Reporter that there was “chaos” on the production; that it was vastly over-budget and losing key creative talent, including the production designer and supervising art director, in addition to the entire visual effects team departing.

“Well, Apocalypse Now was out there being edited for months and months and months. And because it had been made in the Philippines, it was sort of mysterious. [With Megalopolis] it was much the same thing. A rumour starts out; there was a report about chaos. But the source was no source. From my point of view, I was on schedule, which, on a big, difficult movie, is hard to do,” Coppola said.

“I love my actors, and there is not one of them I would change. The movie has a style that went beyond my expectations. That’s sincerely how I feel. The most important thing is the life the film might have when eventually it cuts together and blossoms.”

Is there a trailer for Megalopolis yet?

Not yet, but keep checking back and we’ll drop it as soon as it happens.

Originally published on Esquire UK