Director Sofia Coppola on new film, "The Beguiled," and why she chose to do a remake

Director and writer Sofia Coppola received critical acclaim in 1999 for her debut film, "The Virgin Suicides," and later won an Academy Award for "Lost in Translation." Coppola continued to make her mark on Hollywood with movies like the biopic "Marie Antoinette" and the crime drama "The Bling Ring."

Her new thriller, "The Beguiled," follows a group of women at an all-girls boarding school during the Civil War. It stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.

Coppola, who took home the best director award at Cannes for "The Beguiled," joined "CBS This Morning" to discuss the making of her new movie, and what she learned from her father, the legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.


"The Beguiled"

Ben Rothstein / Focus Features

The women in "The Beguiled," whose ages range from 12 to their 40s, have their sheltered lives disrupted when they take in an injured enemy soldier. The soldier, portrayed by Colin Farrell, is the first man they've seen in a long time.

"I think just the power between men and women, which we can all relate to, is at the heart of the story," Coppola said.

For Coppola, the setting itself was important. "I really wanted to feel the tension and feel the heat of the South."

Asked how she went about casting the movie, Coppola said she loved working with Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning in the past, but it was Nicole Kidman she had in mind when writing the screenplay.

"I mean, she's such an incredible actress, and I think this character had to be a strong woman but also very feminine and delicate, and she could also make her human and sympathetic — and bring so much to making her feel like a real woman," Coppola said of Kidman.

In preparation for the film, Coppola had the women wear corsets and take classes in etiquette, sewing and dance to help convey the role of women at that time.


Nicole Kidman in "The Beguiled"

Ben Rothstein / Focus Features

"It's this very extreme idea of femininity and being a lady and that you have to be very modest and always appealing to men and makeup is vulgar. It was this whole idea of how women were supposed to be for men at that time — and then they found themselves at wartime with no men around," Coppola said.

Coppola said she owes a great deal to her father, and always shows him her films before finalizing the cut. 

"Oh, I mean, I've learned everything from my father. I think the best thing is that he brought me and my brother on set. We spent a lot of time on his sets and just learning how to make film and he's so passionate and curious about filmmaking and, just, and you can't be around him without wanting to make films. About being an artist. He always encouraged me to make films that I felt personally connected to," she said. 

Although "The Beguiled" is a remake, Coppola admits her father has never been a fan of them. 

"My dad always said, 'Oh, remakes — the only reason for a remake is to make money. You know, why would anyone do that?' And so I would never think to remake a film, but this premise was so interesting, there was a Don Siegel film in the early 70s starring Clint Eastwood and it's told from the male point of view and I thought it would be so interesting to retell this story from the women characters," Coppola explained of her decision to choose this project. 

When asked whether she thinks female directors are finally getting their due, as we see big-budget movies like "Wonder Woman" with a woman at the helm, Coppola said, "It feels like a really exciting time because people are talking so much about it and really valuing that the female audience is an important one, too."  

"The Beguiled" opens nationwide on June 23.