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'Old School' Behavior Around Women: Francis Ford Coppola Accused of Trying to Kiss Extras on 'Megalopolis' Set

francis ford coppola
Source: MEGA

Several sources have accused The Godfather/Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola, 85, of being "old school" in his behavior around women.

May 15 2024, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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Several sources have accused The Godfather/Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola, 85, of being "old school" in his behavior around women on the set of his upcoming film Megalopolis, which is set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival this week, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Per a report about the production published in The Guardian this week, "He allegedly pulled women to sit on his lap, for example. And during one bacchanalian nightclub scene being shot for the film, witnesses say, Coppola came on to the set and tried to kiss some of the topless and scantily clad female extras. He apparently claimed he was 'trying to get them in the mood.'"

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francis ford coppola
Source: MEGA

Coppola allegedly "came on to the set and tried to kiss some of the topless and scantily clad female extras."

Megalopolis executive co-producer Darren Demetre defended Coppola's behavior in a statement, telling the outlet, "I have known and worked with Francis and his family for over 35 years. As one of the first assistant directors and an executive producer on his new epic, Megalopolis, I helped oversee and advise the production and ran the second unit. Francis successfully produced and directed an enormous independent film, making all the difficult decisions to ensure it was delivered on time and on budget, while remaining true to his creative vision."

"There were two days when we shot a celebratory Studio 54-esque club scene where Francis walked around the set to establish the spirit of the scene by giving kind hugs and kisses on the cheek to the cast and background players," Demetre said. "It was his way to help inspire and establish the club atmosphere, which was so important to the film. I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill behavior during the course of the project."

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francis ford coppola
Source: MEGA

"I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill behavior during the course of the project, " said 'Megalopolis' executive co-producer Darren Demetre.

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In the same report, one crew member recalled that Coppola "would often show up in the mornings before these big sequences and because no plan had been put in place, and because he wouldn’t allow his collaborators to put a plan in place, he would often just sit in his trailer for hours on end, wouldn’t talk to anybody, was often smoking marijuana … And hours and hours would go by without anything being filmed. And the crew and the cast would all stand around and wait."

"And then he’d come out and whip up something that didn’t make sense, and that didn’t follow anything anybody had spoken about or anything that was on the page, and we’d all just go along with it, trying to make the best out of it. But pretty much every day, we’d just walk away shaking our heads wondering what we’d just spent the last 12 hours doing.”

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francis ford coppola
Source: MEGA

One crew member said that the production "was like watching a train wreck unfold day after day, week after week."

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Another former crew member said, "I think Coppola still lives in this world where, as an auteur, you’re the only one who knows what’s happening, and everybody else is there just to do what he asks them to do."

Others claimed that "we were all aware that we were participating in what might be a really sad finish to his career," that Coppola "was just so unpleasant toward a lot of the people who were trying to help facilitate the process and help make the movie better," and that the production "was like watching a train wreck unfold day after day, week after week, and knowing that everybody there had tried their hardest to help the train wreck be avoided."

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francis ford coppola m megalopolis struggle find distributor budget
Source: MEGA

“This is not how Coppola should end his directing career.”

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Leaving Las Vegas director Mike Figgis, a longtime friend of Coppola's who was invited to document the making of the film in Atlanta, had a more positive take on the production.

"I have no idea where Francis gets his energy from," Figgis said. "Watching an 84-year-old guy hold together that massive team, and to have enough brains to be able to direct the actors, the camera and everything … He was up every morning making notes on his way on to the set, or he’s discussing his ideas with Roman, his son. And at the end of the day, he’s also the producer, so he’s thinking about his interest rate."

“He and Shia [LaBeouf] had this wonderful combative relationship, which was very productive,” Figgis added. “Shia had a lot of questions, and sometimes Francis would be stressed by a bunch of other things and he would respond in a certain way. There was also a lot of humour involved, so it was very entertaining … But sometimes [Francis] was just like, ‘Ugh, I can’t deal with this,’ and he’d just go into the Silverfish and direct from there.”

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francis ford coppola m megalopolis struggle find distributor budget
Source: MEGA

Francis Ford Coppola has reportedly struggled to find a distributor for his upcoming $120 million pet project "Megalopolis."

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Coppola has been trying to get Megalopolis made for over 40 years, and he ended up putting up $120 million of his own money from selling part of his successful winery estate to finance the film when no one else would.

Despite a star-studded cast including Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Talia Shire, and Jason Schwartzman, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Giancarlo Esposito, Coppola has struggled to find distribution for the project.

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