Francis Ford Coppola Proves You Should Never Give Up on Your Passion Project
The legendary filmmaker has found a new agency and, maybe, finally, a home for his long-gestating passion project.
Frances Ford Coppola has several classics on resume -- The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Conversation. But there's one movie that has alluded him for years -- but it looks like all that may change.
Coppola recently signed with agency CAA, reports Deadline, and a huge condition of the Oscar-winning filmmaker joining their talent roster is their promise to finally secure financing for his epic sci-fi drama, Megalopolis.
The 212-page script (because Coppola) has spent the better part of 20 years in development hell. Financing has been difficult to secure throughout that time, thanks to the film's expensive futuristic setting. It centers on an aspiring architect struggling to build a mini-Utopia within the confines of the New York City of the future. So think Coppola's Tucker in tone -- but on a much bigger, sci-fi canvas.
We're not sure if the current draft of the script has changed much, but back in 2001, Variety offered this character breakdown and synopsis from Coppola himself:
The mayor is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the past, while an architect-planner is dedicated to leaping into the future. When a massive renovation project is planned for an area running from 8th Avenue to the Hudson riverbank, and from 34th to 20th streets, it becomes the nexus of a battle over vision, scale and profits -- involving “every layer of society from workers, labor unions, the man on the street to the idea men, the money men, and all those involved with them,” Coppola said.
Bureaucracy and city planning are so cinematic! Can't imagine why Hollywood has been sleeping on this!
As problematic as this project sounds from the jump, Coppola's passion for it is both inspiring and endearing. Most, if not all, of us have that script in our drawers or idea in the back of our minds that we can't quit. That we know, in our guts -- in our wise minds -- we have to make. Not necessarily all of them come with the confidence that audiences will want it, or respond to our intents and execution of them in the way we feel or hope.
But we want to see them, and when you get to a place in your career identical to -- or, at the very least, in the zip code of -- Coppola's, there is a clout you can exercise. Maybe the movie is for an audience of one. Maybe everyone will see it and embrace it the way you do and have. But you're using your talent and industry cache to make your movie with very little to no studio fingerprints. You are employing hundreds of crew and actors -- maybe more -- to bring to life something that has been collecting dust in your drawer but only gaining more momentum in your mind. The drive never went away, and that passion can be infectious on set. It can inspire those making it as well as those wishing for a chance to make their own.
Don't give up on your passion. Even when people tell you "no," that's usually just code for "not now."