Lionsgate to Distribute Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Megalopolis’ in the US

Lionsgate will release Francis Ford Coppola’s self-financed epic “Megalopolis” in U.S. and Canadian theaters, the studio announced on Monday.

The film will open on Sept. 27.

Written, produced and directed by Coppola, the movie is a decades-long passion project for the “Godfather” filmmaker. It is described as a Roman Epic fable set in an imagined Modern America. Adam Driver plays a genius artist who envisions a utopian future for the city of New Rome, while Giancarlo Esposito is the city’s Mayor who remains committed to a regressive status quo.

“Francis is a legend,” Adam Fogelson, chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement to TheWrap. “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.”

Coppola added: “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. 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.”

In TheWrap’s review of the film, Ben Croll wrote, “This is a project of operatic pronouncements, didactic repetitions and sprawling artistic ambitions — quite a few realized, just as many not — that makes little compromise for more earthbound worries.” Sharon Waxman added, “It’s kinda ‘Batman,’ kinda ‘Gladiator,’ kinda ‘Tomorrowland’ rolled up in a smorgasbord of ideas and images and the Cannes audience didn’t know what to do with it.”

“Megalopolis” also sold to Australia (Madman Entertainment), Benelux (September Films), Bulgaria (Profilm), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Film Europe), Ex-Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom Film), Greece (Feelgood Entertainment), Hungary (Mozinet), Israel (Lev Cinemas), Morocco (Facility Event), Portugal (Midas Filmes), Romania (Independenta Film), Scandinavia (Njutafilms) and Turkey (Bir Film).

As TheWrap previously reported, the film locked distribution from Constantin Film for Germany and all German-speaking territories, including Switzerland and Austria; Eagle Pictures for Italy; Tripictures for Spain; Entertainment Film Distributors Limited for the United Kingdom and Le Pacte for France.

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.

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