Francis Ford Coppola talks about his next project – TETRO

     October 16, 2007

The other day I did something that I’d only dreamed about since moving to Los Angeles – I got to ask Francis Ford Coppola some questions at the press day for his new movie “Youth Without Youth.”

After all, this is a man who’s made a number of movies that are revered by millions of film lovers worldwide. From “The Godfather” to “Apocalypse Now,” or from “The Outsiders” to “Dracula,” he’s made films that mean a great deal to a lot of people – myself included.

So when I got the invite to participate in a roundtable interview with one of the legends of cinema… I cleared my previous commitments and got to the hotel quite early. And I wasn’t alone… as a number of the other journalists in the room were just as excited as Mr. Coppola hasn’t done a press day in many, many years.

And while the entire transcript will be posted closer to the release of his new movie, I wanted to post his comments about his next movie “Tetro” right now.

If you’ve been following the news over the last few weeks, you may have heard about a break in at his Buenos Aires residence where his computer and other important documents were stolen – including his backup computer. It was all over the internet and the robbery made national news.

But while reports were not clear if the robber (or robbers) had made away with his only copy of the script, Mr. Coppola told us that he was quite surprised at the level of attention and calmed our nerves that he did, in fact, have more copies of the script.

And even though the break-in happened in the city where he was planning on shooting his next movie… he remains undeterred and he’s still going to shoot there…just a bit later than expected.

So for those curious about his next movie and who’s in it and what it’s about, here’s what he had to say:

Collider: How has the robbery in South America affected your next project?

Francis Ford Coppola: Anyone who’s gotten robbed, it’s always depressing, and I did lose some data. I didn’t lose the script. They said the script is gone, but I have other copies of the script. Obviously I had to send it to actors and stuff, so no. I was astonished that that got such news coverage.

Collider: Can you talk about the next project and the casting?

Coppola: The next project is exciting because I’ve used Youth Without Youth as a crutch to get into a world of personal filmmaking where I’m not subject to the notes of studios. You know, I get the notes from my colleagues, Walter Merch. It’s not that I don’t want notes. I do want notes, but I don’t want so many notes that they start contradicting themselves or that they start turning it into the typical movies that come out every Friday. So basically part of my work now is that I can create the money I use to finance the movie. And in this case the film, it’s called Tetro, the name of a character. It’s very personal. It’s kind of like Tennessee Williams’ period. I want to make a passionate story about brothers and fathers and all of that tumult that I’ve seen in different times of my life. It’s a little bit the stuff I’ve seen in my family, but it’s not, it’s totally fiction.

Collider: Is it a more typical narrative or more like this one?

Coppola: I think Youth Without Youth is a narrative. I believe cinema is more like poetry than the narrative so it works on metaphor and stuff so, whereas I see this as, you’d call this as a more traditional narrative like Rocco and his Brothers or something, but I hope it will have poetry and metaphor in it as well. But it’s got as its theme trying to investigate the notions of existence and consciousness.

Collider: Have you cast Tetro?

Coppola: Yeah, I have Tetro completely cast. I already mentioned Matt Dillon. Did I name all the actors or should I make a press release of it? I have the whole cast. What’s been announced already is Javier Bardem, but his part is not a huge part. Matt Dillon, a very exciting new young actor who you wouldn’t know anyway, but to give you one tidbit Maribel Verdu, the Spanish actress who was in Y Tu Mama Tambien. Do you know Maribel? She’s wonderful. So it’s going to be an interesting thing.

Collider: When do you start filming?

Coppola: I was supposed to start filming next month but because of the opening I’m unable to so I have to start right after Christmas, which is a drag.

Collider: And where are you filming?

Coppola: In Buenos Aires, in La Boca.

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