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The Gross Allegations Against Francis Ford Coppola & What It May Mean For Megalopolis

The following article includes references to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

"Megalopolis" has been a dream project for legendary director Francis Ford Coppola for decades, and it's finally coming to fruition ... but not without some disturbing allegations that could hamper the prospect of a wide release. Things have looked treacherous for a while, as rumors emerged during production that the "Megalopolis" set was in chaos, which Coppola strongly denied. Now, a new report alleges that the filmmaker may have acted inappropriately toward some of the movie's extras. 

The Guardian released a report detailing some alleged tumultuous elements, such as much of the visual effects team either quitting or being fired partway through filming. Sources who spoke with the outlet also discussed Coppola's "old school" behavior, which in this instance refers to trying to kiss some topless extras during a nightclub scene "to get them in the mood."

Executive co-producer Darren Demetre confirmed Coppola kissing some extras, stating, "[Hugging and kissing] was his way to help inspire and establish the club atmosphere, which was so important to the film. I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill [behavior] during the course of the project." While "Megalopolis" has international distribution, it currently doesn't have a distributor in the United States. These allegations could threaten the film's reach and audiences' willingness to watch it. 

Francis Ford Coppola's support of Victor Salva is also disturbing

Francis Ford Coppola hasn't had a huge commercial movie in a long time. Most people probably don't even remember he directed the 1996 Robin Williams-starring flop, "Jack," and the filmmaker has kept a lower profile in recent decades. "Megalopolis" was meant to be a return to form, but these allegations could upend distribution plans for the movie, lest audiences don't want to support a man accused of inappropriately kissing and hugging women. There's also the disheartening matter of Coppola being a staunch supporter of convicted child molester Victor Salva, who served 15 months in prison for his crimes. 

The conviction occurred in 1988, yet Coppola served as an executive producer on 2001's "Jeepers Creepers," a film Salva directed. And then there are the several problematic actors cast in "Megalopolis." Shia LaBeouf is in the movie, even after he's done many terrible things fans can't forget, such as being accused of perpetrating physical and emotional abuse toward FKA Twigs. "Megalopolis" also stars Dustin Hoffman, whom several women have accused of sexual harassment and assault. 

It's possible "Megalopolis" may be too controversial for a mainstream U.S. distributor to give it a mass release, let alone try to position it on the awards circuit. That's even assuming the movie is good to begin with, which ... who knows at this point. But with so much going against it, it's possible Coppola's potential final film will end his career not with a bang but a whimper. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).