The film industry received a much-needed boost with the success of Barbie and Oppenheimer, proving the enduring appeal of original theatrical films. Many now wonder if the Barbenheimer phenomenon is a fluke or a new path to sustained success for Hollywood.
Count Francis Ford Coppola among the optimists. The director of Apocalypse Now was asked about Barbie and Oppenheimer in an Instagram AMA on his personal account. “I have yet to see them,” Coppola said (via IndieWire). “But the fact that people are filling big theaters to see them and that they are neither sequels nor prequels, no number attached to them, meaning they are true one-offs, is a victory for cinema.”
When questioned about the future of the film industry, Coppola said, “My hunch is that we’re on the verge of a golden age. Wonderful and illuminating cinema seen in large theaters.”
Francis Ford Coppola’s optimism finds its foundation in a daring undertaking of his own. Recently, he concluded principal photography on Megalopolis, a futuristic epic that had been in development for an extended period. The film features Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Forest Whitaker, Jon Voight, and Shia LaBeouf. As an Oscar-winner, Coppola took on a significant financial burden by largely self-financing this passion project, which surpassed $100 million in its budget.
“Megalopolis is one of the most exciting things that I’ve ever been a part of, with Francis in particular,” Driver told IndieWire. “It’s one of the best shooting experiences I’ve had. And the things that he’s made, there’s no frame of reference for it… That it’s not so elusive that it’s for a certain audience, it’s for everyone.”