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Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Megalopolis’ will hit US theaters in September

Coppola has spent decades pondering “Megalopolis” and ultimately sold off pieces of his considerable wine empire to largely finance it himself.

NEW YORK (AP) — After months of conjecture about the fate of Francis Ford Coppola's self-financed epic, “Megalopolis” has finally found a home.

Lionsgate will distribute “Megalopolis” in U.S. and Canadian theaters, the studio announced Monday, ending one of the biggest acquisition dramas of the year. Coppola's $120-million Roman epic set in a futuristic New York will land in theaters, including IMAX screens, on Sept. 27.

Coppola first privately screened “Megalopolis,” his first film in 13 years, for potential buyers late March in Los Angeles. Word quickly filtered out about the unique nature of “Megalopolis,” along with some skepticism over its financial potential. Last month, it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival where the film was met with mixed reviews but broad admiration for its daring.

Coppola has previously collaborated with Lionsgate on several home movie releases, including “Apocalypse Now Final Cut.”

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“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 (Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chair) 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.”

In the film, Adam Driver stars as Cesar, an artist-inventor with dreams of a utopian metropolis at odds with the city's mayor (Giancarlo Esposito). It co-stars Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Laurence Fishburne, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman.

Coppola has spent decades pondering “Megalopolis” and ultimately sold off pieces of his considerable wine empire to largely finance it himself. The film, which previously landed distribution deals for many international territories, has experimental aspects to it. Screenings thus far have included a live moment when an actor walks on stage and addresses a question to the screen.

“Francis is a legend," said Fogelson in a statement. "For many of us, his gifts to cinema were one of the inspirations to devote our own careers to film. 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.”

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By JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer

Categories / Entertainment

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