Adam Driver can control time in first peek at Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming film ‘Megalopolis’

Actor Adam Driver players an architect who can control time in the first peek at Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming, self-funded film, “Megalopolis.”

In the teaser, Driver’s character Cesar Catilina can be seen making his way to the edge of a skyscraper. Just when he is about to step off, he shouts “time stop,” and all the cars below him seemingly pause at his command. It is only then that he leans back, appearing to not jump.

Coppola’s film is set to release at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17. It is a Roman Epic set in an imagined Modern America, according to the film’s description.

The description states:

The City of New Rome must change, causing conflict between Cesar Catilina, a genius artist who seeks to leap into a utopian, idealistic future, and his opposition, Mayor Franklyn Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito), who remains committed to a regressive status quo, perpetuating greed, special interests and partisan warfare,” the logline reads. “Torn between them is socialite Julia Cicero (Nathalie Emmanuel), the mayor’s daughter, whose love for Cesar has divided her loyalties, forcing her to discover what she truly believes humanity deserves.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the following actors will round out the self-funded film: “Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Jason Schwartzman, Laurence Fishburne, Kathryn Hunter, Grace VanderWaal, Chloe Fineman, James Remar, D.B. Sweeney and Dustin Hoffman.”

Coppola funded much of the film’s $120 million budget by shedding a significant portion of his wine empire. He also hosted a screening of the project at the end of March for potential buyers, which included Universal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and Sony’s Tom Rothman.

But over a month after the screening, Coppola has not managed to secure a distributor. One distributor said that “[t]here is just no way to position this movie,” and another went on to say that “everyone is rooting” for the director, but “there is the business side of things.”

The Hollywood Reporter noted that one studio head even said that “[i]t’s so not good, and it was so sad watching it. Anybody who puts P&A [prints and advertising] behind it, you’re going to lose money.”

In a time when Hollywood is focused on regurgitating old material and making spin-offs, it is no surprise that Coppola has been unable to find distribution for his original work despite being one of the most successful directors in Hollywood history.

Despite the negative feedback, some of it was positive. One specialty label founder said “I liked it enormously,” going on to say that it is a “very big film” that “has a real life. … How do you define commercial? You look at a movie like ‘Blade Runner,’ and it became so much more commercial than on opening weekend.”

“My first goal always is to make a film with all my heart, so I began to realize it would be about love and loyalty in every aspect of human life,” Coppola said, per Vanity Fair.

“’Megalopolis’ echoed these sentiments, in which love was expressed in almost crystalline complexity, our planet in danger and our human family almost in an act of suicide, until becoming a very optimistic film that has faith in the human being to possess the genius to heal any problem put before us.”

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