Filmmakers don't come much more legendary than Francis Ford Coppola – and so the idea that the mind behind The Godfather and Apocalypse Now has a new film on the way is good news for all fans of cinema.

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But what makes the upcoming release of Megalopolis so especially exciting is the fact that this has been such a long-gestating passion project for Coppola.

The director first dreamed up the idea for the film almost half a century ago, in 1977, and has been hoping to make it ever since, with development having stopped and started many times in the intervening years.

In fact, so determined was Coppola to get the film made that he opted to bypass traditional Hollywood funding methods and put up $120 million of his money such that he could deliver his own, fully uncompromised vision.

Even with a synopsis available and a stunning first-look trailer having been released, it's difficult to know exactly what to expect from the film – but based on the early reactions that came out of a private industry screening earlier in 2024, it looks like the madcap director has cooked up something ambitious, epic and very, very unconventional.

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With that in mind, cinephiles the world over will be desperately eager to feast their eyes on the film as soon as possible. But when will the film actually arrive in the UK? Read on for everything we know so far.

Megalopolis release date speculation

The film has been struggling to find a distributor in the US – reportedly due to its wildly experimental nature – but the good news for UK fans is that it has been picked up on this side of the Atlantic.

Its release will be handled by Entertainment Film Distributors, whose managing director Nigel Green said it was an "honour and a delight" to have the film on their slate, and added that it was "a very special film that makes you believe again in the unique experience of cinema".

What isn't clear at this stage is exactly when the film will be released – but it will hopefully be at some point later in 2024, with an IMAX release planned. We'll keep this page updated as and when we hear any more news.

Meanwhile, the film will be having its official premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday 16th May – so we'll be keeping our eyes out for all the reactions after it debuts. Here's hoping for lots of buzz!

Megalopolis cast

Coppola has managed to assemble a huge cast of household names for the film, with Adam Driver leading the cast – continuing his track record of teaming up with major directors on their passion projects following roles in Martin Scorsese's Silence and Michael Mann's Ferrari, among others.

There will also be major roles for Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito, Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel and Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza – and that's barely scratching the surface of the cast list.

Also set for prominent parts are Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Jason Schwartzman, Talia Shire, Grace VanderWaal, Laurence Fishburne, Kathryn Hunter and Dustin Hoffman. Talk about star-studded!

Megalopolis plot

If early reactions from the aforementioned industry screening are anything to go by, the plot won't be straightforward – but we do know that Driver will star as an idealist architect called Cesar, who has a unique ability to do with controlling time.

An official synopsis reads: "An accident destroys a decaying New York City-like metropolis. Cesar Catilina, an idealist architect with the power to control time, aims to rebuild the city as a sustainable utopia, but is opposed by corrupt mayor Franklyn Cicero, who remains committed to a regressive status quo.

"Torn between them is Franklyn's socialite daughter, Julia, who, tired of the influence she inherited, searches for her life's meaning."

Megalopolis trailer

Following the release of a brief clip starring Driver at the beginning of May, a slightly fuller teaser trailer was released on Tuesday 14th May – and it certainly makes the film look like a ravishing and hugely eccentric prospect.

Coppola himself wasn't holding back when announcing it, calling the project "the best work I’ve ever had the privilege to preside over".

Given the huge accomplishments on his CV, that's no small statement – you can check out the bonkers first-look footage below:

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Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.

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