Director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, The Natural) is set to direct a film that will tell the story of the making of the 1972 classic The Godfather. The movie is titled Francis and the Godfather, and Oscar Isaac is set to take on the role of director Francis Ford Coppola, and Jake Gyllenhaal will play legendary producer Robert Evans.
The film is based on a Black List script written by Andrew Farotte that was redeveloped by Levinson, and the film will detail the legendary and wild battles that went into making The Godfather. Levinson says, “Out of the madness of production, and against all odds, a classic film happened.”
While The Godfather is considered to be one of the greatest American films and a symbol of the ’70s auteur era, getting there was no easy task. Coppola was 31 at the time, determined to convince Evans and the studio to allow him to film expensively in New York, set in the time period of a novel which would become a big bestseller. This after the original Mario Puzo script was set in contemporary Kansas City. Among the other debates was the idea to gamble on Marlon Brando, an eclectic character who hadn’t been in a hit film in years, to play mob family patriarch Don Corleone (for which he would win the Best Actor prize), and also Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, a character who slowly evolved from a desire to get far away from the family business to taking it over when it was clear his father would be murdered even after a bungled assassination attempt. Evans, who took the top job after a career as an actor, had pressures all his own, as the studio was in danger of closing up shop. There was also the uneasy discussions with real mobsters who were none too pleased to have their dirty business to be aired in a major studio film.
The film will focus on the clashes between the filmmaker and a studio chief who badly needed a hit. Coppola has given the film project his blessing, and said, “Any movie that Barry Levinson makes about anything, will be interesting and worthwhile!”
Producer Mike Marcus went on to add, “Here was a young man who lived outside the system and every step of the way the system was telling him, ‘You can’t do that.’ But Francis never gave up on his vision and the result speaks for itself.”
As a huge fan of The Godfather, this is a movie that I’m definitely interested in seeing! I also find the crazy behind the scenes stories of getting movies made absolutely fascinating, and the story of The Godfather is full of them!
I can’t wait to see who they end up casting as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Diane Keaton, and the rest of the cast of The Godfather.
Does this sound like a movie you’d be interested in watching?