After years of making some of the most iconic films of all time, it is Francis Ford Coppola’s turn to be immortalized on screen. Chronicling the development and production of THE GODFATHER, a new film from director Barry Levinson will bring the real-life Coppola to the screen as played by Oscar Isaac. Also joining the cast will be Jake Gyllenhaal as legendary film producer Robert Evans. It goes without saying that more big names are surely going to join these two superstars in the as-yet-untilted movie which started as a Black List screenplay by Andrew Farotte.
This has already been a significant year for THE GODFATHER. A few weeks ago, Coppola announced a new cut of the third film in the trilogy titled THE GODFATHER CODA. Film fans are surely excited to be getting this additional look into the legacy of Coppola’s film based on Mario Puzo‘s novel which will illuminate not only how the movie was made but will also a glimpse into the chaotic events that led up to its creation. From location changes shifting the story from Kansas City to New York, location shooting, a studio on the verge of collapse, and actual gangsters who were not happy that a movie would delve into the inner workings of the Mafia, THE GODFATHER production is chock full of tidbits that will make this movie a must-see.
Oscar Isaac is a little older than Coppola was during the filming of THE GODFATHER, but he is such a great choice for the reserved auteur. Gyllenhaal could play the bombastic and perpetually tanned Evans as a caricature or this could be the point where he finally earns a long-overdue Oscar. Speaking of which, what other actors will join this cast in playing such icons as Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and even Mario Puzo? This movie could end up being an Oscar-winning movie about an Oscar-winning movie with Oscar-winning actors playing Oscar-winning actors.
If I could quickly round back to Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE, we recently received a reminder that the film is set to debut on Blu-ray and Digital on December 8, 2020. This new version achieves Coppola and screenwriter Puzo’s original vision for the finale, which has been meticulously restored for the finest presentation of the Corleone saga’s last chapter.
“‘Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone’ is an acknowledgment of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became ‘The Godfather: Part III,’” said Coppola. “For this version of the finale, I created a new beginning and ending, and rearranged some scenes, shots, and music cues. With these changes and the restored footage and sound, to me, it is a more appropriate conclusion to ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Godfather: Part II’ and I’m thankful to Jim Gianopulos and Paramount for allowing me to revisit it.”
Per today’s press official release:
Coppola and his production company American Zoetrope worked from a 4K scan of the original negative to undertake a painstaking, frame-by-frame restoration of both the new Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone and the original The Godfather: Part III. In order to create the best presentation possible, Zoetrope and Paramount’s restoration team began by searching for over 50 original takes to replace lower resolution opticals in the original negative. This process took more than six months and involved sifting through 300 cartons of negative. American Zoetrope worked diligently to repair scratches, stains, and other anomalies that could not be addressed previously due to technology constraints, while enhancements were made to the original 5.1 audio mix.
Joining Ben Affleck‘s recently announced film chronicling the making of CHINATOWN, another classic film, could we be seeing a surge in movies about the making of movies? What other films would be worthy of having their productions turned into features? THE SHINING? CASABLANCA? PAUL BLART: MALL COP?
While the making of THE GODFATHER has no title or release date, stay tuned for more as it develops.