Megalopolis Marries Dystopian Futurism, Jazz Age Aesthetics in New Teaser

Movies News Francis Ford Coppola
Megalopolis Marries Dystopian Futurism, Jazz Age Aesthetics in New Teaser

Sofia Coppola’s father is back with the first trailer for his self-financed science fiction epic Megalopolis. Francis Ford Coppola‘s picture features a vast ensemble, starring Adam Driver—and his painfully questionable haircut—alongside Giancarlo Esposito, Nathalie Emmanuel, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Kathryn Hunter, Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. Alongside the teaser trailer’s drop today on the interwebs, the world has seen a litany of articles coming out of the woodwork regarding alleged conflicts and misbehavior on set… again.

The Megalopolis trailer begins with an extended shot focused on the Statue of Liberty against a backdrop of ensuing fireworks. If this is any indication, Megalopolis is commenting on the disarray intrinsic to the American project. The unknown voice ruminating over “when… does an empire die?” further cements this, even as the voiceover seems more suited to a Roland Emmerich-esque post-apocalyptic action film rather than a cerebral urban-dystopian drama.

Take a look:

The trailer seems to boast of Megalopolis’ high production values. The Francis Ford Coppola feature adopts the high aesthetics of the Jazz Age (in Metropolis-esque fashion) alongside futuristic flourishes, with beaded dresses, Art Deco architecture and vintage cameras complimented by leather-forward outfits, high-ceiling stadiums and a Berlin techno milieu. Despite the well-documented on-set drama, it appears that this hasn’t harmed the crew’s work on the intricate setpieces within the film.

It is a shame, then, that Megalopolis has, in part, been overshadowed by reports of on-set issues. Early post-screening reactions have noted film executives’ general snideness and bewilderment at Coppola’s project. The lack of confidence in the filmmaker appears to inform its distribution difficulties: Megalopolis is still without a distributor despite its imminent premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Check out the trailer for yourself as we continue to wait for Megalopolis to find a distributor and traipse into theaters… sometime soon.

Hafsah Abbasi is a film critic who has covered the Sundance Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival in years past. She currently resides in Berkeley, California. Find her latest writing at

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