I’ve predicted Megalopolis, anticipated as it is, will have a clear dividing point: the cultural commentariat hoping to see “another film by the director of The Godfather” and those who appreciate “something that looks and sounds like a Star Wars prequel.” I am very firmly in the latter, was duly excited by the first image, and can only be pleased with the time-stopping debut teaser, arriving today via Le Pacte. (As our contributor Z.W. Lewis quipped to me, “What if The Fountainhead was written by someone with good politics and also it was like Spy Kids.”)

It comes with a sad addenedum. Coppola, sharing the teaser on Instagram, noted:

Megalopolis has always been a film dedicated to my dear wife Eleanor. I really had hoped to celebrate her birthday together this May 4th. But sadly that was not to be, so let me share with everyone a gift on her behalf.

As Coppola recently told Vanity Fair, “I wouldn’t have been able to make it without standing as I do on the shoulders of G.B. Shaw, Voltaire, Rousseau, Bentham, Mill, Dickens, Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Fournier, Morris, Carlyle, Ruskin, Butler, and Wells all rolled into one; with Euripides, Thomas More, Moliere, Pirandello, Shakespeare, Beaumarchais, Swift, Kubrick, Murnau, Goethe, Plato, Aeschylus, Spinoza, Durrell, Ibsen, Abel Gance, Fellini, Visconti, Bergman, Bergson, Hesse, Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Cao Xueqin, Mizoguchi, Tolstoy, McCullough, Moses, and the prophets all thrown in.”

Also starring Giancarlo Esposito, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman, and more, here’s the synopsis: “The destruction of a New York City-like metropolis after an accident brings clashing visions of the future. On one side is an ambitious architectural idealist Cesar (Adam Driver). On the other is his sworn enemy, city Mayor Frank Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito). The debate becomes whether to embrace the future and build a utopia with renewable materials, or take a business-as-usual rebuild strategy, replete with corruption and power brokering. In between their struggle is the mayor’s socialite daughter Julia (Nathalie Emmanuel), a restless young woman who grew up around power and is looking for meaning in her life.”

Watch the teaser below:

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