Paramount Pictures has announced that Francis Ford Coppola has reworked and restored another one of his films, The Godfather: Part III. This may not be the best film in The Godfather trilogy, but it is the tragic conclusion to Michael Corleone’s story. Maybe Coppola’s new cut of the film will make it better!
The new version of the film will be titled Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. It’s explained that this new version achieves Coppola and Puzo’s original vision for the finale. Coppola said in a statement:
“Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone’ is an acknowledgement of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became ‘The Godfather: Part III. 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.”
Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives added:
“Mr. Coppola oversaw every aspect of the restoration while working on the new edit, ensuring that the film not only looks and sounds pristine, but also meets his personal standards and directorial vision.”
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will get a limited theatrical release in December, followed by availability on Digital home entertainment platforms and on disc. As fan of The Godfather franchise, I’ll be looking forward to watching this!
Coppola’s masterful film adaptation of Puzo’s novel chronicles the rise and fall of the Corleone family and the saga is rightfully viewed as one of the greatest in cinematic history. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, The Godfather: Part III was nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film follows Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), now in his 60s, as he seeks to free his family from crime and find a suitable successor to his empire.
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. These thorough restoration efforts were not immune to the coronavirus pandemic: midway through the project, all work—even the search for the negative—shifted to the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles and was completed by Zoetrope and Paramount remotely.