Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Megalopolis’ Lands at Lionsgate for U.S. Release After Divisive Cannes Premiere

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Francis Ford Coppola’s sci-fi epic “Megalopolis,” which proved to be wildly divisive after its Cannes Film Festival premiere, has finally found a distributor. Lionsgate has signed a deal to distribute the film in theaters in the U.S. and Canada.

It will be released on Sept. 27. “Megalopolis” is playing in Imax, but it will likely share screens with Christopher Nolan’s 10th anniversary “Interstellar” rerelease. It’ll also have to relinquish those coveted premium large format screens a week later, as “Joker: Folie à Deux,” which was filmed with Imax cameras, lands on Oct. 4.

“Francis is a legend. For many of us, his gifts to cinema were one of the inspirations to devote our own careers to film,” Adam Fogelson, chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. “It is a true privilege to work with him, and to bring this incredible, audacious, and utterly unique movie to theatrical audiences. At Lionsgate, we strive to be a home for bold and daring artists, and ‘Megalopolis’ proves there is no one more bold or daring than the maestro, Francis Ford Coppola.”

Through a head-spinning number of separate deals, the two-hour-and-20 minute dystopian drama has previously found distribution in the U.K. (Entertainment Film Distributors Limited), France (Le Pacte), Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Constantin Film), Italy (Eagle Pictures), Spain (Tripictures), Australia (Madman Entertainment), Greece (Feelgood Entertainment) and more. Goodfellas is in advanced negotiations for Latin America and Brazil, and in negotiations with the rest of Asia.

Coppola has a lot riding on “Megalopolis,” which the 85-year-old “Godfather” director ended up independently financing for $120 million. Adam Driver stars in the film as an architect who accidentally destroys a New York City-esque metropolis and works to rebuild it as a sustainable utopia. In the process, he’s challenged by the corrupt mayor (Giancarlo Esposito), who wants to stick to the status quo, as the beaurocrat’s daughter (Nathalie Emmanuel) comes between the two men. Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight and Laurence Fishburne round out the cast.

Lionsgate has previously distributed many of the filmmaker’s prior films on home entertainment, including “Apocalypse Now Final Cut,” “The Conversation” and “The Cotton Club Encore.” Lionsgate Studios will also distribute “Megalopolis” across all home entertainment platforms.

“One rule of business I’ve always followed and prioritized (to my benefit) is to continue working with companies and teams who over time have proven to be good friends as well as great collaborators,” Coppola said in a statement. “This is why I am thrilled to have Adam Fogelson and Lionsgate Studios release ‘Megalopolis.’ I am confident they will apply the same tender love and care given to ‘Apocalypse Now,’ which is currently in its 45th year of astounding revenue and appreciation.”

Coppola’s producer and longtime lawyer, Barry Hirsch of Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman, oversaw the deal on behalf of American Zoetrope. Lauren Bixby and Christopher Davis oversaw the deal for Lionsgate.

IndieWire first reported news of the sale.

From Variety US