Following the release of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, it took Francis Ford Coppola over 15 years to complete the trilogy with The Godfather Part III, and although it wasn’t received nearly as well as the first two, it did conclude the saga of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). Over the years, there has been talk of a fourth installment of the franchise which would have taken a page out of the second film and tell a similar narrative, flashing back to the 1930s with Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) and Sonny (rumoured to by played by Leonardo DiCaprio), and with Vincent Corleone (Andy Garcia) in the 1980s. The death of The Godfather writer Mario Puza put an end to those plans, but it seems that The Godfather Part IV remains a possibility, albeit a slim one.
In a feature for The New York Times about Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming recut of The Godfather Part III, the director said that Paramount Pictures does have the rights to make more films in the franchise. “There may well be a ‘Godfather IV’ and ‘V’ and ‘VI,’” Coppola said. “I don’t own ‘The Godfather.’” In a statement, Paramount said, “While there are no imminent plans for another film in the ‘Godfather’ saga, given the enduring power of its legacy it remains a possibility if the right story emerges.” Should the right story ever emerge, don’t expect Francis Ford Coppola to be the one to tell it, as he said, “I won’t do ’em. But I’m an old man.” While I doubt many people out there are actively demanding a fourth Godfather film, I’d imagine that it’s only inevitable that the franchise will return in some form.
Although The Godfather Part IV may not be in our immediate future, there are several Godfather-related projects in development. Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog) is developing a feature-film about the making of The Godfather that will feature an all-star cast. At the moment, Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) is slated to star as Francis Ford Coppola with Jake Gyllenhaal (Spider-Man: Far From Home) on board to play Robert Evans. Additionally, a TV series is also in the works for the Paramount+ streaming service that will be based on The Godfather producer Al Ruddy’s experiences of making the iconic film, with Ruddy to be played by Armie Hammer (Death on the Nile). The recut version of The Godfather Part III, now retitled Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, will be released on Blu-ray/Digital on December 8th.