Francis Ford Coppola's 'Megalopolis' to premiere at Cannes

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly half a century after Francis Ford Coppola won the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, he will return to the French Riviera festival to premiere his self-financed epic “Megalopolis.”

The premiere was confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday by a person close to the project who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to make the announcement. Hollywood trade Deadline first reported that “Megalopolis” will screen in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival on May 17.

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The French film festival didn’t immediately respond to messages Tuesday. Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux is set to announce the competition lineup Thursday in Paris. Fremaux last week told Variety that he hoped to program “Megalopolis” at this year’s festival.

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Francis Ford Coppola arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Nearly half a century after Francis Ford Coppola won the Cannes Film Festivals Palme d’Or, he will return to the French Riviera festival on May 17, 2024, to premiere his self-financed epic “Megalopolis”.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“‘Megalopolis’ is a project that he wanted to achieve for so long and he did it independently, in his own way, as an artist,” Fremaux said. “He built the legend of the Cannes Film Festival and it would be an honor to welcome him back, as a filmmaker who comes to present his new film.”

That “Megalopolis” is to screen in competition means the 85-year-old Coppola will be eligible for Cannes’ Palme d’Or 45 years after he won it for “Apocalypse Now.” Coppola split the Palme that year with Volker Schlöndorff’s “Die Blechtrommel,” but he won Cannes’ top prize outright 50 years ago, for “The Conversation.”

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In recent weeks, Coppola has screened “Megalopolis” for friends and family and begun shopping it to distributors. The project, which he first began conceiving in the early 1980s, cost a reported $120 million to make. Coppola put up his money with the help of his wine empire to realize a passion project about the rebuilding of a metropolis. It stars Adam Driver and Giancarlo Esposito, and includes a starry cast of Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Chloe Fineman, Kathryn Hunter and Dustin Hoffman.

The Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off May 14, has previously announced premieres for George Miller’s “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” and Kevin Costner’s “Horizon, an American Saga.” Earlier Tuesday, the festival said George Lucas will receive an honorary Palme d’Or.

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