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Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis Receives 10-Minute Ovation at Cannes

Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis Receives 10-Minute Ovation at Cannes

Francis Ford Coppola’s long-gestating and much-discussed sci-fi epic Megalopolis had its world premiere on Thursday night at the Cannes Film Festival, and was greeted with a 10-minute standing ovation inside the Grand Lumiere Theatre, as gave a hug to each of his cast — among them Nathalie Emmanuel, Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza and Giancarlo Esposito — and threw his hat into the cheering crowd.

The Thursday build-up to the unveiling of the film was epic. First, Imax said earlier in the day that it would give Megalopolis a global theatrical release, with the timing yet to be determined. Then, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played as Coppola and Co. approached the Palais on the way to the premiere — an appropriate song given that the filmmaker made his latest film outside the Hollywood system, retaining complete control. That was followed by applause inside the theater as Coppola’s arrival was shown on the big screen. The anticipation increased further when the theme from The Godfather played — and people applauded — inside the cinema as Coppola was shown walking the red carpet with his cane.

Next, Driver helped the legendary director up the steps of the Palais to greet festival boss Thierry Fremaux. Finally, there was a massive ovation as Coppola entered the theater.

Among the famous faces in attendance at the Megalopolis world premiere were Challengers star Mike Faist and Hans Zimmer. Coppola was also seen hugging Richard Gere before the screening.

Coppola, 85, last had a film in competition at Cannes 45 years agoApocalypse Now, for which he was awarded the Palme d’Or for the second time, five years after The Conversation won it.

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Like Apocalypse Now, Megalopolis came into the fest under a microscope: Coppola has been talking about the project for decades; poured a stunning $120 million of his own money into it; and had a VFX-heavy shoot in Atlanta that THR reported was chaotic in numerous ways.

Much is riding on the film’s reception at Cannes, especially in the aftermath of a March 28 private screening in L.A. from which potential buyers emerged skeptical about the film’s commercial prospects. This week at the fest, the film’s distribution rights for several European territories were sold. But it has yet to find a U.S. distributor.

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