Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Megalopolis’ Heads To Cannes Market With Goodfellas, French Deal Set With Le Pacte: “The Iconic Director Is Back”

One of the year’s most anticipated films will be on sale for independent buyers at the upcoming Cannes market. We can bring you news that French sales company Goodfellas has boarded Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis ahead of the movie’s world premiere in Competition at the festival.

Also confirmed today is the film’s French deal with Le Pacte and the involvement of longtime Coppola collaborator Paul Rassam.

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Speculation has been rife around rollout plans for the $120M self-financed epic ever since Coppola showed it for the first time to buyers at L.A.’s Universal CityWalk Imax Theater at the end of March, with the screening followed shortly after by news of its Cannes selection.

Adam Driver stars as an idealistic architect attempting to rebuild New York as an American Utopia, with the ensemble cast also featuring Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voigt, Giancarlo Esposito, Laurence Fishburne and Kathryn Hunter. Above is a first look image from the movie.

The movie will debut in Competition in Cannes on the evening of Thursday, May 16.

As per Mike’s report on the L.A. screening, Coppola and longtime attorney Barry Hirsch, who is a producer the film, have been looking for a distribution strategy that will reach a wide audience in the fall, with an emphasis on Imax theatres. The U.S. deal remains a work in progress.

The deals revealed today were negotiated by Hirsch with Goodfellas (formerly Wild Bunch International) President Vincent Maraval and Le Pacte President Jean Labadie. Instrumental in the negotiations was Paul Rassam, longtime partner of Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola, known for distributing films such as Apocalypse Now, Tucker, Lost In Translation, Marie Antoinette, Amadeus, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Dances With Wolves, and Into the Wild.

The deal with Goodfellas and the now finalized sale of French rights to Le Pacte means the film will meet with a Cannes rule that Competition films must release theatrically in France before hitting any platform.

This rules out the immediate involvement of a streamer in France due to the territory’s windowing rules requiring a 17-month gap between a theatrical release and its launch on a global streamer, apart from Netflix which has negotiated a 15-month deal.

It remains to be seen whether the movie goes the streaming route elsewhere, although Deadline hears Goodfellas is also already close to securing theatrical deals in a number of key territories.

Paris-based Goodfellas has a long track record of audacious sales campaigns at Cannes.

Over its 20-year run, Maraval’s firm has sold 11 Palme d’Or winners including Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11, Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Colour, Hirokazu Kor-eda’s Shoplifters and Julia Ducournau’s Titane, while it has helped a raft of Cannes titles breakout internationally including Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum and Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables. The company’s Oscar-winning sales titles include Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist, Luc Jacquet’s March of the Penguins and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

Coppola and French producer Rassam go back a long way. In 1977, Rassam invested in Apocalypse Now when it was in financial difficulty in return for the French rights to the film. The deal resulted in a life-long friendship between the two men and their families.

Le Pacte’s Jean Labadie said today: “I want to thank Francis Ford Coppola, Barry Hirsch, and Paul Rassam for trusting Le Pacte with the distribution of Megalopolis in France. It is fantastic for us, as our admiration for Francis’ work is immense. How many directors have been able to liberate themselves from the ‘rules’ of cinema? How often do we experience a film in which every sequence is truly astonishing, with incredible performances from an A-list acting ensemble? Thanks to Megalopolis, our faith in American independent cinema is alive, and our appetite for bold films—which combine pleasure, outstanding direction, and reflection—are  fulfilled.”

Goodfella’s Vincent Maraval added: “This is a dream come true for Goodfellas as we have always dedicated ourselves to legendary directors and their vision. We had the chance to screen the film last week and we were blown away. This is a film that never ceases to surprise you, to challenge the boundaries of independent cinema in a joyful and visually impressive dance, leaving you with the unique feeling of never having seen such a thing before. The iconic director is back!”

The feature film is produced by Fred Roos, Barry Hirsch, and Michael Bederman, and is executive-produced by Anahid Nazarian, Barrie Osbourne, and Darren Demetre.

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