Don’t call it a premiere, but after decades in the making, Francis Ford Coppola finally unveiled his $120 million epic Megalopolis to a good portion of the Hollywood industry yesterday in Los Angeles in the hopes of securing a buyer. While reviews are of course under wraps until its official, public premiere, the first details are starting to trickle in.

“Having seen Megalopolis we can confirm there’s never been, or ever will be, a director as crazy as Francis Ford Coppola. What a privilege to be on the same planet as him,” the Beyond Fest account tweeted, while Matt Belloni reported an attendee saying, “It’s unflinching in how batshit crazy it is.”

Deadline‘s Mike Fleming reports, “Coppola’s new film is crackling with ideas that fuse the past with the future, with an epic and highly visual fable that plays perfectly on an IMAX screen. He covers complex themes in a remarkably brief two hours and 13 minutes, not including credits.” Coppola also sent Fleming his introduction, which he read before the screening:

Dear Friends,

As heard from me before: “I believe in America.”

If I could leave you with one thought after you see my new film, it would be this: Our founders borrowed a Constitution, Roman Law, and Senate for their revolutionary government without a king, so American History could neither have taken place nor succeed as it did without classical learning to guide it.”

In terms of when the rest of the public will be able to experience Coppola’s largely self-funded vision, starring Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, Nathalie Emmanuel, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman, and more, the director wants to lock in wide theatrical distribution and secure a full plan before bringing it to a festival. As previously reported, this could mean a fall film festival debut is more likely than a return to Cannes for the director.

With the screening having taken place, we now have a more detailed plot synopsis as well: “The destruction of a New York City-like metropolis after an accident brings clashing visions of the future. On one side is an ambitious architectural idealist Cesar (Adam Driver). On the other is his sworn enemy, city Mayor Frank Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito). The debate becomes whether to embrace the future and build a utopia with renewable materials, or take a business-as-usual rebuild strategy, replete with corruption and power brokering. In between their struggle is the mayor’s socialite daughter Julia (Nathalie Emmanuel), a restless young woman who grew up around power and is looking for meaning in her life.”

If one might have assumed this epic undertaking would be the 84-year-old Coppola’s swan song, think again. “One way I knew Megalopolis was finished is that I’ve begun work on a new film,” he tells Deadline. “It won’t be cheap by any means, but I don’t know it can be called ‘an epic film.'”

Here’s hoping Coppola can sew up distribution soon and his long-awaited project can get the release he desires.

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