Over the course of her filmmaking career Sofia Coppola has developed a very specific style, one that is at once dreamy and observational. Through her use of image and music, Coppola casts a spell that pulls you into the worlds she creates, whether she’s depicting the hectic sprawl of modern-day Tokyo, the careless candy-colored decadence of pre-Revolutionary Versailles or the twisted sexually-repressed weirdness of an all-female boarding school tucked away in a forgotten corner of Civil War-era Virginia.
Coppola has won plenty of critical acclaim for her visually arresting and thematically rich films, including her latest movie The Beguiled starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell, but so far she has shied away from trading on that acclaim to segue into big-budget franchise filmmaking (at one point she was rumored to be interested in a live-action version of The Little Mermaid but it never came to fruition). However, it does seem that Coppola at least is keeping the door open on the possibility of tackling a major studio production at some time in the future.
In comments she made at the Cannes Film Festival (via Variety), Coppola indicated that big-budget studio filmmaking is something she might be willing to consider at some point, even though she has obvious concerns about having to take orders from studio bosses:
“I love making small low-budget films where I am really allowed to do it the way I want, and I think when you have those huge franchises there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen and meetings in conference rooms. But I’d never say never.”
With opportunities for women filmmakers opening up more-and-more inside the superhero/blockbuster realm – indeed studios are now actively seeking out women directors to handle particularly female-centered projects like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel – it’s easy to imagine Coppola wanting to get in on the action. In fact it’s hard to think of many other high-profile female directors who would be better-qualified to pull together a big-budget production and give it a distinctive human element while still having the chops to deliver on the spectacle end.
One thing Coppola excels at is world-building, a talent she demonstrated with her visually sumptuous (though somewhat controversially anachronistic) period film Marie-Antoinette. Even when she’s tackling modern day material with films like Lost in Translation and Somewhere, Coppola creates worlds that feel very distinctive and fully-realized, and that’s an ability that would certainly serve her well if she were ever to take on crafting a superhero movie or other type of blockbuster genre film.
Unlike her father Francis, who had no qualms about spending huge sums of money in order to make his cinematic visions a reality, Sofia appears more-than-happy to keep her ambitions modest and explore worlds that can be realized on small budgets. Perhaps at some point the right kind of big-budget project will cross Coppola’s desk and she’ll decide to take it on, even if it means giving up some autonomy.