Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, and Shia LaBeouf Fight for the Future in Francis Ford Coppola’s 'Megalopolis' Teaser

According to writer and director Francis Ford Coppola, the long-in-the-works film is the "best work" of his career.

Video via Francis Ford Coppola

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Video via Francis Ford Coppola

You've no doubt seen it said multiple times this morning, but it bears repeating with an exponential intensity: We are so, so back.

Indeed, Francis Ford Coppola shared the first teaser trailer for his decades-in-the-making epic Megalopolis overnight, thus giving the world the most in-depth look yet at what the iconic director is calling the "best work" of his unparalleled career.

"Our new film Megalopolis is the best work I’ve ever had the privilege to preside over," Coppola, whose feature directorial debut, Dementia 13, turned 60 last year, said when rolling out the teaser early Tuesday.

Adam Driver leads the cast of this Roman Epic fable as Cesar Catilina, an artist whose hopes for a collective push into a utopian existence are at odds with the anti-art, pro-war efforts of City of New Rome mayor Franklyn Cicero, played by Giancarlo Esposito. Cicero’s daughter, Julia Cicero (played by Nathalie Emmanuel), is caught between this battle for a future worth living in.

The truly stacked cast of the five-time Oscar winner’s self-financed sci-fi drama also boasts Shia LaBeouf, Aubrey Plaza, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Talia Shire, Jason Schwartzman, Kathryn Hunter, Grace VanderWaal, Chloe Fineman, James Remar, D.B. Sweeney, and Dustin Hoffman.

Two characters from a film, one holding an object, with a cityscape in the background

Megalopolis will have its world premiere as part of the in-competition Cannes lineup on May 16. It's set for a theatrical rollout here in the States later this year. Written and directed by Coppola, Megalopolis marks the fulfillment of a long-held (and long-speculated-on) desire of the filmmaker whose past work includes widely celebrated classics like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now.

In a written statement to Vanity Fair’s Anthony Breznican last month, Coppola, now 85, pointed to his childhood fascination with the H.G. Wells-penned 1936 film Things to Come as the earliest inklings of the idea that would eventually grow into Megalopolis. Per Coppola, his ultimate "dream" for his latest opus are that it spurs the repeated asking of a crucial and permanently relevant question; namely, "Is the society in which we live the only one available to us?"

Earlier this month, Francis commemorated what would have been his late wife’s 88th birthday with a clip from the film, saying at the time that it has "always been a film dedicated to my dear wife Eleanor." Eleanor Coppola, born Eleanor Jessie Neil, died in April. An esteemed director and writer in her own right, her Hearts of Darkness documentary is widely regarded as one of the greatest explorations of the high-stakes, all-or-nothing style of filmmaking that has become synonymous with the Coppola name.

As with all ambitious things, there have been some pre-release detractors and related whisperings trying to posit Megalopolis as a gamble not worth taking. Such doubters would best be served taking a look back at Coppola’s prior instances of similar ahead-of-its-time ambitiousness from across his career, most famously with Apocalypse Now. That film, not unlike other Coppola classics like The Godfather and The Conversation, still stands tall as one of the most celebrated entries in American filmmaking 45 years after its initial release.

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