US film director Francis Ford Coppola saluted the crowd with his straw hat as he posed with stars Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel and Grace VanderWaal at the world premiere of his epic film Megalopolis.

Hollywood stars descended on the red carpet of the 77th Cannes Film Festival for the first official screening of the film, which marks a decades-long passion project for The Godfather director Ford Coppola.

It has been reported Ford Coppola had the idea for the story more than four decades ago.

Driver plays an architect who is in competition with the mayor of New York, as he wants to build the city into a utopia after a disaster.

77th Cannes Film Festival
Francis Ford Coppola at the Megalopolis premiere during the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France (Doug Peters/PA)

Ford Coppola, who reportedly funded the big-budget film himself, is competing for a third prestigious Palme d’Or award at the French festival, having received his first for The Conversation and his second for Apocalypse Now.

It is understood that Megalopolis is yet to secure a distributor in the US.

British actress and Game Of Thrones star Emmanuel posed on the red carpet wearing a custom white Chanel Haute Couture gown, while co-star and Saturday Night Live comedian Chloe Fineman debuted a strapless red sparkly Celine number.

The White Lotus star Aubrey Plaza arrived on the red carpet wearing a custom long-sleeved cream Loewe gown with Casadei shoes, while Driver opted for a white dinner jacket and black bow tie.

77th Cannes Film Festival
Nathalie Emmanuel on the Megalopolis red carpet (Doug Peters/PA)

The film features a large ensemble cast including Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman and Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito, as well as Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Talia Shire, Kathryn Hunter and DB Sweeney.

Ford Coppola, 85, has won six Academy Awards.

He won his first Oscar in 1971 for writing epic biographical war film Patton about US General George S Patton during the Second World War, before picking up awards in the same category in 1973 and again two years later for The Godfather and its sequel.

He also won the gong for best director in 1975 for The Godfather II, about Vito Corleone, the head of a mafia family, which also won best picture in the same year.

In 2011, Ford Coppola was awarded the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award.