“I don’t want to make a Marvel movie”: Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis Ended Up Becoming a Marvel Film After He Tried Too Hard to Not Make One

Ahead of its Cannes premiere, Megalopolis has been accused of being a tumultuous production.



  • Francis Ford Coppola is all set to return to the director's chair with his dream project Megalopolis.
  • The maverick filmmaker was reportedly working on the film for 40 years before finally mounting it on his own.
  • However, many stories of a chaotic production and inappropriate behavior has come out from various crew members.
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Francis Ford Coppola is back with what is sure to be one of the most important films of the decade Megalopolis. The film has been a dream project for The Godfather director, who has been working on the project for over forty years. The film stars Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, Nathalie Emmanuel, Shia LaBeouf, and Aubrey Plaza in pivotal roles.


While the film makes its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this week, many crew members have come out to talk about their experiences on set. Much like other Coppola films, the production of Megalopolis also seemed to be filled with chaos. One of the key moments in the production was the departure of the VFX crew and the director’s decision to go back to green screens after berating it throughout.

Francis Ford Coppola Berated Marvel Films And Ended Up Going Through The Same Process

Adam Driver stands atop a skyscraper in a still from Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis
Adam Driver in Megalopolis

Few filmmakers in Hollywood have stood against the studios and saved their artistic integrity as Francis Ford Coppola has. All his career, the maverick filmmaker has gone to war against the tide and has emerged victorious. Despite many problems in his productions, the filmmaker delivers incredible films that become classics after their release.


His latest passion project Megalopolis could fall into this category. In the making for over forty years, the sci-fi epic reportedly had a troubled production filled with chaos and disorganized shoots that led many crew members to believe that the legendary Apocalypse Now director had never shot a film before (via The Guardian).

The city of New York in a still from Megalopolis
A still from Megalopolis

Crew members revealed that sometimes the filmmaker changed plans on a whim and that one of the biggest issues while filming was his clash with his old-school techniques to new-age digital filmmaker practices. Coppola reportedly berated Marvel films multiple times during set but ended up using green screens after much of the VFX crew exited the film.

A crew member said to The Guardian about Francis Ford Coppola’s behavior on set,


“His dig at us was always, ‘I don’t want to make a Marvel movie,’ but at the end of the day, that’s what he ended up shooting.”

According to THR, the film lost many of its key creatives while filming, including the production designer, supervising art director, and much of the VFX crew. Coppola had reportedly planned on shooting on a volume screen but resorted to green screens at the end.

Megalopolis Spent Many Shoot Days Not Filming Anything Substantial

Adam Driver as Caesar in a still from Megalopolis
A still from Megalopolis

Francis Ford Coppola’s productions have always been the stuff of legend. His Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now was notorious for having a disastrous shoot during which the crew went through a storm that destroyed sets, the lead actor had a heart attack, and the film was massively over budget. Compared to that, the production of Megalopolis may have been smooth sailing.

But crew members alleged that there was a lot of chaos while filming the passion project as the filmmaker himself changed his mind too often. A crew member said to The Guardian,


“We had these beautiful designs that kept evolving but he would never settle on one. And every time we would have a new meeting, it was a different idea…I think Coppola still lives in this world where, as an auteur, you’re the only one who knows what’s happening, and everybody else is there just to do what he asks them to do.”

Some crew members also accused Francis Ford Coppola of wasting too much time and not filming anything substantial on many shoot days. One member revealed that they spent the first day of Adam Driver’s schedule strapping him onto a chair and filming a scene which would have been easier with VFX because Coppola wanted to do it the old-school way,

“So they basically strapped Adam Driver into a chair for six hours, and they literally took a $100 projector and projected an image on the side of his head. I’m all for experimentation, but this is really what you want to do the first day with your $10m actor?…so he [Coppola] spends literally half of a day on what could have been done in 10 minutes.”

While the behind-the-scenes stories paint a picture of a chaotic set with a filmmaker who is clueless, the first trailer of Megalopolis seems to show a visionary director coming back to form after a string of underwhelming projects.


Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 988

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 400 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.