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Did Someone Just Steal Francis Ford Coppola’s Next Movie? This Redefines Piracy!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Okay, goddammit... we’ve finally got one of the great American maverick filmmakers up and running again, with his new film YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH just around the corner and him already planning to work again, and then this happens:
Five armed burglars broke into Francis Ford Coppola's Buenos Aires HQ on Wednesday, subdued a collaborator of the filmmaker and stole a camera and computers.Helmer, whose upcoming pic is "Youth Without Youth," was not in at the time, but the stolen computers had the script for his next production, police said Thursday. The house in the artsy, leafy district of Palermo doubles as the base for his production outfit in Argentina. A Coppola spokeswoman in the capital told the Argentine media that a reward would be offered for the return of the script and "a lot of the creative work" on the computer. The thieves also took the backup copy of the contents. Coppola is preparing to shoot early next year the Argentine family saga "Tetro" with Matt Dillon toplining. Coppola, who also penned the screenplay, will produce through his American Zoetrope shingle. Story revolves around an artistic immigrant family marred by fierce rivalries handed down through several generations.
I don’t think I’ve heard a word before today about TETRO, but I’m officially excited now. I’ve always enjoyed it when Coppola has collaborated with Matt Dillon in the past, and Dillon’s a hell of a lot better now as an actor than he was back then. And it sounds like another personal story for Coppola, which is exactly what he should be doing now that he’s rekindled his love for filmmaking. I pray that the people who took all this stuff realize that they didn’t just take a computer, but instead took creative work, something that can’t easily be duplicated. I hope they return his materials so that Coppola doesn’t lose any ground and so he doesn’t get discouraged. It would be a real loss if something as stupid as a burglary derailed this picture. Here’s hoping this one has a happy ending, and soon.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:24 a.m. CST


    by DarthBodie

    Whoop whoop

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:25 a.m. CST

    First, read it elsewhere first

    by Faust_8


  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:29 a.m. CST

    ohhh im 3rd... *cries... wanker firstheads

    by bongo123

    bummer for francis

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Hey Moriarty......

    by D o o d

    How do you know they didn't take because they KNEW the creative material was on there in the first place. I wouldn't just put this down as a stupid theft cause it may turn out to be more planned...!! who knows..!

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:33 a.m. CST

    It's either..

    by nolan bautista

    ..the Barzzinis or that Turk snake Sollozzo or Hyman Roth himself but hey..its all,paisan?

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Sounds like an inside job.

    by Walterego

    I'm sure the people who snatched this knew exactly what they were after since they also got the backup copy. Probably a ransom is being sought, especially if this could hold up pre-production.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:37 a.m. CST

    In the words of Capt.McLuskey..

    by nolan bautista

    "I frisked a thousand young punks.."

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Any bets...

    by Kung Fu Hustler

    ...on how soon a TETRO script review appears on this site?

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:01 a.m. CST

    or not

    by Faust_8


  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST

    this is kind of embarasing for my country, isn't it?

    by Argentino

    Ok, dont' take it against my country guys. We're not the third world savages most of you people probably think we are. Buenos Aires is one of the greatest cities in the world (seriusly, u should visit it), this could have happen anywhere. I know nobody made any mean comment yet but I just wanted to mention this.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I love the guy and all...


    but his best work was in the 70's.....I wish he'd spend more time teaching his kids...Lost in Translation is great but I still dont buy it that Sophia wrote it alone. I believe it to be cowritten by her director-ex whom the film purports to be about....why you ask,,,,b/c the films she made w/o him around are shit....

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Boca vs River Match needs to be in it

    by messi

    that's the only way this film will have any credibility. And Palermo has to score 2 and 1 by Palacio.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Tetro aka Justice League

    by messi


  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:27 a.m. CST

    I'm gonna point the finger at Spielberg

    by George Newman

    Doesn't want that old school competition

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Damn that Michael Bay!

    by Stalin vs Predator

    What ends won't the man go to? Michael, have you no shame to pull a stunt like this? Think of your innocent days as the Miami Vice extra, when you had to buy coke personally!

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Captain Justice

    by Argentino

    Dude, are you new here? A "preemptive calm down" is always a good idea in an AICN talkback. I know you're not really serius and you're just trying to start a discusion (hey, I don't feel like working either) but you are speaking nonsense. This didn't happen in and argentinian HOTEL. Coppola has a HOUSE in Palermo, Buenos Aires, where he has his "latin amercan headquaters" so to speak. Buenos Aires, and specially Palermo, is hardly known for it's crime rate.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    hey, maybe the thieves will actually make the movie:

    by newc0253

    then it might actually get made.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Lucas: Prime Suspect.

    by Seph_J

    Things have gone from bad to worse for The Saggy-Necked-One. The ideas wern't flowing. Spielbergs staff aren't so easily 'subdued', Scorsese doesn't use scripts with actual words anymore, so he looked for the next best thing. <P> Donations to the Lucas Fund.... Skywalker Ranch.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by frankblack2

    I use to visit and enjoy Buenos Aires a lot!!! I fly there regularly to visit THE MONUMENTAL STADIUM, home of the Greatest Argentinian soccer team of all time: RIVER PLATE!! Although recently in crisis by DT Passarella :(

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST


    by Film Whisperer

    Has been around for weeks. Why hasn't AICN posted it? Or did I just miss it? It looks really intriguing.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST

    DRACULA was his BEST...

    by RenoReno

    Coppola should do something fun again. DRACULA is one of the best classy horror films ever created, I just wonder if Coppola were to do a Vampire film set on the present... and made as DRACULA was made with bigger than life sets, etc.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 1:25 p.m. CST

    This is why you BACK UP YOUR DATA!

    by Mullah Omar

    This is not the typical AICN discussion, but let this remind anyone with valuable data to save that data in more than one place. I find it hard to believe that Coppola's people, or at least the funders, wouldn't demand that he send them copies of the script every so often, or that a few printed drafts weren't laying around somewhere. But if they weren't . . . then this is a major blunder.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Ha ha!! Keeping the backups in the same place

    by V'Shael

    as the originals!! <p> It's a rookie mistake, you newbie. <p> Burn!

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Uwe Boll is behind this somehow!

    by MrMysteryGuest

    It's just like him to make a good script really bad!

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 7:42 p.m. CST

    TETRO! I played that on Nintendo!

    by MrMysteryGuest

    Especially when I try to make a line with those odd-shaped blocks! Does this mean Coppola is making a video game movie?!? :O LOL

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST

    This is why old people shouldn't use computers

    by Bobo_Vision

    They don't know how to save anything. I can picture Coppolla's pal, George Lucas, convincing him to write his script and edit his digital work on his laptop: "Everything is digital these days, Francis. No one handwrites or typewrites scrips anymore. Use a laptop. You can edit everything all in one computer!"

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Dile no a la pirateria!

    by MrMysteryGuest

    Spanish for "Say no to piracy!"

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 8:55 p.m. CST

    To be Coppola-ed

    by Toby___Wong

    means that someone has stolen something from you because you are a dumb fuck. All the money in the world, but no brains to have a USB key. Dumb motherfucker. He deserves what he got for his stupidity. What a moron.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST



    Go back and read my interview with FFC - he talked of TETRO there.

  • Sept. 29, 2007, 12:16 a.m. CST

    I cinerely hope he gets his stuff back

    by Proman1984

  • Sept. 29, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    That's really damn lame

    by Harry Weinstein

    Someone who's as tech-savvy as Coppola's been for pretty much his entire career should have known the importance of redundant, OFF-SITE, network-based storage - this is literally a problem that could have been minimized with one single cheap server in a American Zoetrope broom closet back in Cali. There really didn't even need to be a copy stored on the laptop at all, assuming Coppola had even dial-up internet service out in Argentina. It doesn't make it any less sad and fucked up - but that's life in a nutshell, innit? And yeah, it does sound like the work of someone who knew exactly what they were doing.

  • Sept. 29, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST

    It doesn't make sense

    by CherryValance

    that he had it all on one laptop. I mean I have copies of my "to do" lists. I read a BBC article that makes it sound like what they stole was the backup. Like maybe there are other copies around.

  • Sept. 29, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    what if the thieves release the movie..

    by ironic_name

    and they accept a best picture academy award?

  • Sept. 29, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST

    "And this year's Oscar goes to...."

    by Bobo_Vision

    "...Fernando Gomez for 'Tetro'!"

  • Sept. 29, 2007, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by seniorspeilbergio

    I say we all pool our money together and hire some Blackwater Mercs to go down there and "retrieve" the stolen property. Then we tie their intestines to a ceiling fan and flip the switch.

  • Sept. 29, 2007, 10:11 p.m. CST

    dozens of scripts with Coppola's thief attached

    by kabong

    are flooding Hollyweird even as we post

  • Sept. 30, 2007, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by C Legion

    Someone get John Rambo to tear their throats out.