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Francis Ford Coppola Quietly Working On An "Ambitious," Epic Studio Movie & Hopes To Start Casting Soon

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 4, 2012 at 10:29AM

You would you have to go back all the way to 1997's "The Rainmaker" to see Francis Ford Coppola's last fully fledged studio picture. Since then, the legendary director has been following his own muse, taking on ambitious if not always entirely successful features made outside of Hollywood, resulting in a trio of pictures: the fantasy "Youth Without Youth," the black-and-white sibling drama "Tetro" and the 3D horror "Twixt." Coppola has long talked about enjoying the freedom that comes with independence, but sometimes you need someone with big pockets to help bring certain stories to life, and it looks like the 73-year-old filmmaker is ready to deliver another big, epic picture.
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Francis Ford Coppola

You would you have to go back all the way to 1997's "The Rainmaker" to see Francis Ford Coppola's last fully fledged studio picture. Since then, the legendary director has been following his own muse, taking on ambitious if not always entirely successful features made outside of Hollywood, resulting in a trio of pictures: the fantasy "Youth Without Youth," the black-and-white sibling drama "Tetro" and the 3D horror "Twixt." Coppola has long talked about enjoying the freedom that comes with independence, but sometimes you need someone with big pockets to help bring certain stories to life, and it looks like the 73-year-old filmmaker is ready to deliver another big, epic picture.

Coppola recently chatted with EW to talk about the new 5-film Blu-ray box set of his work that includes "Apocalypse Now," "Apocalypse Now Redux," "The Conversation," "Tetro" and "One From The Heart" (yeah, it's a pretty odd grab-bag release). Asked what he was up to next, Coppola revealed that he's developing something quite large in scope, and apparently already has financing in place, and is eager to start looking at actors to take it on.

"I have a secret investor that has infinite money. I learned what I learned from my three smaller films, and wanted to write a bigger film. I’ve been writing it. It’s so ambitious so I decided to go to L.A. and make a film out of a studio that has all the costume rentals, and where all the actors are," he said, with EW noting he'll have an office at Paramount next year. "My story is set in New York. I have a first draft. I’m really ready for a casting phase. Movies are big in proportion to the period. It starts in the middle of the ‘20s, and there are sections in the ‘30s and the late ‘40s, and it goes until the late ‘60s."

So a period movie spanning four decades, set in New York City? Um, yes please. No word yet on a title, story or even who the mysterious person with endless cash is (maybe David Ellison of "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol," "True Grit," and "Jack Reacher," who has a very good relationship with Paramount?) but we're pretty excited by the prospect of a rejuvenated Coppola ready to go large all over again. One can't help but think of "The Godfather" in this context, but he assures that it's no followup to that picture as he's done with sequels.

"No. I think a sequel is a waste of money and time. I think movies should illuminate new stories," he said. Intriguing... The Blu-ray set is in stores now, and hopefully more details on this movie will emerge soon.

This article is related to: Francis Ford Coppola


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