Monday, June 17, 2024

Cannes: “Megalopolis” Still Has No US Distributor 1 Week After Premiere, Questions About Having Live Actor at Theaters


A week ago — yes, it’s been a week — Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis” premiered in Cannes to decidedly mixed reactions.

After one week, there is still no US distributor. The unusual movie has sold in a bunch of countries where the incredible images from the film and the huge cast of stars may attract audiences who don’t speak English and may just ignore the story. No kidding.

But beyond the screenplay there’s a bigger question about “Megalopolis.” At the few screenings so far, a live actor walks onto the stage of the theater, or down into the aisle, and speaks to a character on the screen. It’s as if Woody Allen’s “Purple Rose of Cairo” were real! I’m told the picture on the screen changes, too, as it highlights the one dimensional person addressing the live actor.

Will this happen in every theater at every showing? The French distributor says they’re open to giving it a try in 22 iMAX theaters. But France is the size of Texas. It’s hard to imagine this going on three times a day in 2,000 US venues. Will the ushers be enlisted? (That would be fun.) A scaliwag friend of mine suggests, “They’ll just pull people in off the street and offer them free popcorn!”

This could be one reason why, after a week, there’s still no answer about who will be in charge of bringing “Megalopolis” to the movie going audience.

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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