Sunday, May 26, 2024

Adam Driver — No Hits in Five Years — Has As Much to Lose as Director in Francis Ford Coppola’s Daring “Megalopolis”


Everyone’s talking about Thursday’s premiere in Cannes of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis.” FFC invested $100 million of his own money into this spectacular. Few have seen it. Coppola is bringing it to Cannes without a distributor, and in competition.

Surely, it will get a headline making 10 minute standing ovation. That will be the story.

But Coppola isn’t the only one who has his career on the line. So does star Adam Driver.

Everyone loves Adam Driver, and he’s had an amazing run. But in reality, Driver has not starred in a hit film since 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker.” If it weren’t for his “Star Wars” movies, playing Kylo Ren, Driver’s box office report card isn’t so good.

To wit: “Ferrari” was a total bust. “House of Gucci” was a minor one. “Annette” was barely a movie. No one saw “The Last Duel” or “65.” This is from hard numbers, objectively. Driver works a lot — and is always outstanding — but the material has often undermined his talents.

Driver did his best acting in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” which was for streaming only. He was just as good in “White Noise,” but it also didn’t play in theaters. They can’t count on his box office report.

So there’s a little pressure for Driver that “Megalopolis” become a success tomorrow night. It’s not like he’ll never work again, but his trajectory just gets more challenged. Let’s hope for the best.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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