casIt’s been eight years since Francis Ford Coppola last directed a movie. Or five if you count Supernova. But the last official FFC film was The Rainmaker, which was actually pretty good, if a touch generic for one of his films. Hey, at least it wasn’t Jack.

Coppola’s been busy enough in the intervening years, producing and all that, and trying to get his film Megalopolis off the ground. Now he’s coming back to the director’s chair – but what does that mean for Megalopolis?

The film he’s making is a low budget feature based on the book Youth Without Youth, by Romanian writer Mercia Eliade. I never heard of it, so I turned to Variety to sum the thing up for me: “[It] centers on a professor whose life changes after a cataclysmic incident during the dark years before WWII. Becoming a fugitive, he is pursued through far-flung locations including Romania, Switzerland, Malta and India.”

"I was excited to discover, in this tale by Eliade, the key themes that I most hope to understand better: time, consciousness and the dreamlike basis of reality," Coppola said in a statement. "For me, it is indeed a return to the ambitions I had for work in cinema as a student."

Arty FFC! That’s not really the best news I ever heard, but at this point I just want the guy making movies again. It’s unlikely that he’ll ever hit Godfather II/Apocalypse Now heights ever again in his career, but his lengthy hiatus after a rough 1980s surely has our expectations set lower.

The film will star Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz and Marcel Iures, and starts filming in a couple of weeks.

And Megalopolis? The Variety piece makes no mention of the long gestating project, but when Coppola headed to Romania to write this film, he was quoted as saying, "I have come here to rediscover myself as an artist." Is it possible that this smaller picture is a warm up for that bigger one?

Don’t bother posting on our message boards if you don’t realize FFC is a genius!