Francis Ford Coppola, a major detractor of Marvel movies, is finding that big-budget, VFX-heavy filmmaking isn't quite as easy as he thought.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, his sci-fi passion project Megalopolis has "descended into chaos" halfway through shooting, with the entire visual effects team departing the movie last month and the production designer and supervising art director following since.
Coppola decided to fund the $120 million movie himself, but the budget has since increased massively, and it's uncertain whether it can move ahead as planned.
Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, and Dustin Hoffman lead the all-star cast in a movie that's said to follow an architect who seeks to rebuild New York City as a utopia after a disaster.
Backdrops using similar technology to The Mandalorian's Volume have been used to bring this world to life, but the challenges and costs involved with that are proving to be considerably larger than expected.
The filmmaker is said to have actually fired most of the VFX team in early December, with the rest following shortly thereafter. Between multiple firings and resignations, Megalopolis no longer has an art department.
One source tells the trade, "It was absolute madness, being on set," though Coppola is now in the midst of replacing the ousted crew members.
Despite being responsible for some bona fide classics like The Godfather and Dracula, the latter - released in 1992 - was his last hit. Coppola hasn't directed a movie since Twixt in 2011, and that pretty much went straight to DVD. This wouldn't be his first project to face issues behind the scenes, with Apocalypse Now - which later won two Oscars - going through similar problems to this sci-fi epic.
Whether the end result will be another beloved classic is obviously hard to say...