Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis First Look: Adam Driver Stops Time

Adam Driver is an architect who can control time in the first-look clip for Francis Ford Coppola‘s upcoming, self-funded film, Megalopolis.

In the more-than-two-minute video, Driver’s Cesar Catilina makes his way onto the edge of a skyscraper, seemingly considering jumping. As he’s about to fully step off the building, he shouts “Time stop” and the cars below him pause at his command, and he leans back onto stable footing.

The film, which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, is a Roman Epic set in an imagined Modern America, according to its description.

“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.”

Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Jason Schwartzman, Laurence Fishburne, Kathryn Hunter, Grace VanderWaal, Chloe Fineman, James Remar, D.B. Sweeney and Dustin Hoffman round out the cast of the director’s self-funded film.

Coppola first began writing Megalopolis in 1983, and the film reportedly cost $120 million to make, which was funded in part by the sale of a significant portion of the director’s wine empire. He hosted a screening of the project at the end of March for potential buyers, with Universal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Sony’s Tom Rothman all attending.

However, over a month later, the film is still seeking distribution, as several of the screening’s attendees told The Hollywood Reporter that Megalopolis will face an uphill battle. One distributor said, “There is just no way to position this movie,” while another noted that while “everyone is rooting” for the director, “there is there is the business side of things.”

One studio head even said, “It’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.”

However, not all responses to Megalopolis were negative. A specialty label founder shared, “I liked it enormously,” adding 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.”

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