Francis Ford Coppola says children ‘don’t need a fortune’ after selling business to fund Megalopolis

Francis Ford Coppola said his children “don’t need a fortune” after he was asked about self-financing his new epic film, Megalopolis.

The dystopian drama, starring Adam Driver as an architect-scientist who wants to better a fictional version of New York City called New Rome, cost $120m to make over decades.

Following its divisive premiere at Cannes Film Festival on Thursday Coppola was asked whether the project has left him in any financial difficulty.

“One of the reasons why I’ve had the line of credit that I did to be able to do this is because in 2008 – you remember that financial crisis – I borrowed in those days $20m to build a winery [where] children could do something while their parents were drinking the wine,” the 85-year-old explained.

Coppola has been a vintner since the 2010s. His eponymous label has become one of the biggest producers of premium wine in the US.

In 2021, Coppola sold part of the business in a deal estimated to be worth around $500m.

Romy Croquet, Roman Coppola, Cosima Mars, Director Francis Ford Coppola and Talia Shire in Cannes for ‘Megalopolis’ (Getty Images)
Romy Croquet, Roman Coppola, Cosima Mars, Director Francis Ford Coppola and Talia Shire in Cannes for ‘Megalopolis’ (Getty Images)

“So I just took the money from that, that I wouldn’t have had had I not taken the risk, and I put the risk into [Megalopolis],” Coppola added at the press conference.

“So I have no problems with the financial... also, another thing, my children, without exception, Sofia, Roman, they have wonderful careers without a fortune, they don’t need a fortune,” he said.

“So no matter what happens... We’re fine. It doesn’t matter. You know, all of you, the money doesn’t matter. What’s important are friends... When I die, I won’t notice [the money].”

Coppola shared three children with his late wife Eleanor: Gian-Carlo, Roman and Sofia.

Gian-Carlo died in a speedboating incident in 1986 aged 22. Roman, 59, and Sofia, 53, are both successful filmmakers in their own rights.

Adam Driver in ‘Megalopolis’ (Entertainment Film Distributors)
Adam Driver in ‘Megalopolis’ (Entertainment Film Distributors)

In a recent interview with Air Mail, Coppola denounced negative reports about his new movie.

“If you look at each and every mixed or negative notice it’s always something heard from an unknown source,” he said.

“I really feel it’s unpardonable to attack a movie because it doesn’t play by Hollywood’s current rules, by quoting unnamed sources who probably weren’t at the screening and may not exist.”

Coppola argued: “You’d think, Why would anyone want not to root for Megalopolis? An accepted filmmaker using their own money to fund an ambitious movie. Well, there are plenty of interests who would.”

Megalopolis also features Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Dustin Hoffman, Giancarlo Esposito and Nathalie Emmanuel.

In his three-star review for The Independent, Geoffrey MacNab called the movie “a deeply flawed sci-fi spectacle”.

“Ultimately, this isn’t the car crash it could have been,” he wrote, adding: “You can’t help but marvel at his gumption (and folly) in making a blockbuster in which town planning features so prominently, and characters quote ancient philosophers like Plutarch and Marcus Aurelius at length.”