Coppola and Costner Reflect on Their Dream Projects: ‘Megalopolis’ and ‘Horizon’

Coppola and Costner Reflect on Their Dream Projects: ‘Megalopolis’ and ‘Horizon’

Directors Francis Ford Coppola and Kevin Costner are both immersed in “dream” projects they’ve been harboring since the 1980s: Coppola with his Megalopolis and Costner with his Horizon. The two films reportedly have budgets that exceed 0 million each.

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 The directors recently gave a joint interview with Deadline in which they expressed their determination to complete these epic undertakings.

Coppola, who is putting up his own cash for Megalopolis, says the financial risk makes him feel like an authentic auteur. He was quoted as saying that “Authorship only means the film is honest to the theme and the premise.
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It has to be personal, real; it can’t be a synthesis of what people have decided would be a good formula for a movie.”

For his part, Costner mortgaged his property to fund Horizon, which he hopes will yield similar results. As he told Deadline: “I’ve mortgaged 10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara where I was going to build my last house…But I did it without a thought. It has thrown my accountant into a fucking conniption fit. But it’s my life, and I believe in the idea and the story.”

Staking their solvency on a film they believe in is nothing new: Coppola was forced into filing for bankruptcy when his 1982 One from the Heart tanked at the box office. He shrugged this off by saying, “What are you risking? You’re risking something that you’re lucky to have, which is the ability to finance a movie.” Costner endorsed this attitude by declaring: “People might look at this and say, ‘Oh, this is a gamble.’ And I go, ‘Well, I guess it is, but do I want to go to Vegas and gamble’” No. I’m not that kind of gambler. I gamble on the love of story.”

Horizon is the first of four films set in the American West of the nineteenth century, that legendary era when the frontier was “home on the range” to hordes of Americans following the dictum, “Go West, young man.” Megalopolis is arguably Horizon’s dystopic twin: a story about rebuilding a huge city that has been leveled by a seismic event.

In the interview with Deadline, Costner called Horizon a “conventional Western with a beginning, middle, and end.” For a time, Disney considered making the film, but the two parties couldn’t agree on the level of fiinancing. But the director would not let his dream die, declaring that “At the end of the day, I’m a storyteller, and I went ahead and put my own money into it. I’m not a very good businessman, so, scratch your head, if you will. I don’t know why, but I have not let go of this one. I’ve pushed it into the middle of the table three times in my career and didn’t blink. This is my fourth.”

Coppola echoed this stance in his “now or never” attitude. “For me, when you do go into the great unknown, you don’t want to say, “Oh, I wish I had done this or that.” You want to say, “I got to do it.” And you’ll be busy thinking of what you did that you wanted to do, that when death comes, you’re not going to even notice it.
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” He added, “I’ve always operated under this vague idea of trying to do stuff, because if you don’t achieve it, it’s no worse than if you didn’t try”

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