Adam Driver and Aubrey Plaza star in surreal trailer for new sci-fi epic Megalopolis, as The Godfather director calls it his "best work"

(Image credit: American Zoetrope)

The first major trailer for Megalopolis is here, and it’s our best look yet at The Godfather director’s new sci-fi. Debuting ahead of its premiere at Cannes Film Festival, Francis Ford Coppola shared the trailer with a caption calling it "the best work I've ever had the privilege to preside over".

The short clip opens with Laurence Fishburne’s Fundi Romaine driving around a decaying city as he says, "When does an empire die? Does it collapse in one terrible moment? No, no, but there comes a time when its people no longer believe in it." Visually arresting, the neon-filled teaser also features new looks at Adam Driver as Cesar Catilina and Nathalie Emmanuel as Julia Cicero after the first look was released earlier this year.

Elsewhere in the surreal trailer, there are moving statues, a very heavy Roman influence, and our first major look at Aubrey Plaza’s character Wow Platinum – yes, that's really her name. Also starring in the movie, which has been in the making for more than 23 years, are Giancarlo Esposito, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, and Jon Voight.

The film is set in a destroyed New York City-like metropolis, which Driver’s Cesar is trying to rebuild. As an architect with the ability to stop time, he hopes to make it into a sustainable utopia but faces opposition from Esposito’s Cicero. Stuck between the two men is Cicero’s daughter Julia (Emmanuel) who is in love with Cesar.

Megalopolis is due to make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, ahead of its release late this year. It’s already had some divisive first reactions too, which have hailed it as everything from a "masterpiece" to "batshit crazy".

For what else is out this year, here’s our guide to all the upcoming movies and 2024 movie release dates to add to your calendar.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.