Even five-time Oscar winners are not immune to TikTok phenomena.

Francis Ford Coppola took to his personal Instagram account on Friday to weigh in on a recent trend that saw bemused women asking men in their lives how often they think about the Roman Empire. The auteur revealed that, like many men on TikTok, his mind is frequently occupied by details about the empire’s rise and fall. He then used the trend as an opportunity to explain how Roman history inspired his upcoming self-financed epic “Megalopolis.”

“How often do I think of Ancient Rome? Quite a lot,” Coppola wrote. “The Roman Republic served as the example for my country America and its institutions, and was the inspiration for my upcoming film ‘Megalopolis.’”

Coppola continued: “My fascination with the Roman Republic is based on the struggle between the political parties during which the interest of the Republic yielded to the ambitions of a few powerful men who espoused the aims of political parties to establish their own fortunes and authority by relying upon armed forces to achieve those ends, dealing the final blow to a constitution already tottering to its fall.”

While “Megalopolis” takes place in the future, the film has been associated with Rome since its inception. Specific plot details remain vague (with Coppola himself often appearing to contradict his own descriptions as the project evolved), but the official synopsis reads: “The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius and conflicted love.”

“Megalopolis” stars Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Forest Whitaker, Dustin Hoffman, and Jon Voight. In a recent interview, Driver heaped praise on Coppola and promised that the finished product would be like nothing cinephiles have ever seen.

“‘Megalopolis’ is one of the most exciting things that I’ve ever been a part of, with Francis [Ford Coppola] in particular,” Driver said. “It’s one of the best shooting experiences I’ve had. And the things that he’s made, there’s no frame of reference for it. It’s so unique and inventive and hopefully accessible by everyone — that it’s not so elusive that it’s for a certain audience, it’s for everyone. And he is everything that you hope he will be.”

Leave a comment