Nearly 50 years on from its original release to a swathe of critical acclaim and two successful sequels, it has been announced that the making of the The Godfather is to be adapted into a film of its own.
Francis and The Godfather will be led by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, Ex Machina) in the role of legendary auteur Francis Ford Coppola, with Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners, Nightcrawler) opposite as Paramount Executive Robert Evans, one of the central figures that brought Mario Puzo’s novel to the big screen. We can expect Puzo to feature prominently too, as he wrote the screenplay for all three of the films in the trilogy.
The film will reportedly focus on many behind-the-scenes struggles that beset the production. Evans was keen to have the film set in the present day over the novel’s 1940s and 50s setting, while there were contrasting views on who to cast, with initial scepticism over eventual stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.
The film is to be helmed by acclaimed director Barry Levinson, who was behind some of the best films of the 1980s: Young Sherlock Holmes, Good Morning Vietnam and Rain Man. It will be interesting to see which, if any, actors will be cast as the film’s now iconic original cast. Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton some of the most iconic figures in cinema from the past 50 years synonymous with the The Godfather saga. Francis Ford Coppola has given his approval for this new film saying: “Any movie that Barry Levinson makes about anything, will be interesting and worthwhile!”
With the upcoming release of David Fincher’s highly anticipated Mank—which focuses on the making of Citizen Kane with actors Gary Oldman and Tom Burke—it appears this could be a new re-occurring sub genre. Should Mank and Francis and The Godfather prove successful, we can perhaps expect further biopic treatment for some of the biggest titles from Hollywood’s Golden Age and beyond, with some clear contenders for other titles that deserve this treatment. Perhaps another Coppola title with infamous production issues, Apocalypse Now, is next in line.
Words by Chris Connor
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