Francis Ford Coppola Denies Reports of ‘Ballooning Budget’ and ‘Crew Exodus’ on Megalopolis

Francis Ford Coppola has responded to a report detailing staff turnover on the Megalopolis set. While speaking to Deadline for an interview published on Tuesday, the renowned 83-year-old director addressed reports of chaos brewing on the set of his upcoming science fiction drama movie, Megalopolis. The Hollywood Reporter revealed employee turnover in the production’s visual effects and art departments on Monday. The report indicated the film has been in “peril”, under a “ballooning budget” and “crew exodus”.

The filmmaker is halfway through the movie in Atlanta, with one source describing the set as “absolute madness”

Image Credit: Georges Biard

The cost of production is apparently ballooning and is potentially at risk of stretching beyond the $120 million budget the director originally set aside for the film

A production executive told the trade β€œ[Coppola] is going to spend a lot more money than he intended. You can imagine how much he’s already got invested. It would be a very bitter pill not to finish it.”

Coppola allegedly fired most of the movie’s visual effects team in December, including supervisor Mark Russell who was heading up the division. It’s understood that production designer Beth Mickle and supervising art director David Scott have also now exited the project, leaving its production without an art department. While Coppola is reportedly trying to fill the vacant positions, other issues are said to be brewing on-set. The cost of production is apparently ballooning and is potentially at risk of stretching beyond the $120 million budget the director originally set aside for the film – partially funded by the profits from his wine business.

Coppola Megalopolis
Image Credit: Gerald Geronimo

Megalopolis has been a passion project of Coppola’s for decades, and he’s seemingly pulling out all the stops to bring it to the screen with a huge ensemble cast. Those involved include Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, and Dustin Hoffman.