London (AFP) - Filmmaking legend Francis Ford Coppola is not impressed with Boris Johnson's love for his bloody 1972 gangster classic "The Godfather".
The Brexit-backing UK prime minister told The Daily Mail newspaper during his successful leadership challenge in July that his favourite piece of filmmaking was the "multiple retribution scene in 'The Godfather'."
The comment turned into a social media meme after Johnson expelled 21 of his own MPs -- including Winston Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames -- from the ruling party for straying from his hardline Brexit stance.
Coppola, who wants Britain to stay in the EU, told London's Financial News that Brexit looked like it was heading for a disaster more reminiscent of the 1979 war film "Apocalypse Now".
"The Godfather seems to be the favorite film of modern history's most brutal figures, including Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gadhafi and others," he told Friday's edition of the news site by email.
"I love the United Kingdom and its many contributions to humanity, ranging from our beautiful language and Newtonian physics to penicillin," the 80-year-old Italian American wrote.
"And (I) am horrified that it would even consider doing such a foolish thing as leaving the European Union."
Johnson has vowed to deliver a "do or die" Brexit on October 31 even if he fails to agree a negotiation withdrawal deal with Brussels.
The UK parliament has ordered him to seek a deadline extension if he does not get a deal, something that Johnson has refused to do, creating a feverish political crisis.