Francis Ford Coppola has been working for six months on the aggressive new cut of the film, which is slated for theaters this December.
Thirty years after its original release, Francis Ford Coppola is looking for a redo with "The Godfather Part III." Long considered the black sheep of the film trilogy, the concluding chapter never achieved the same level of accolades as its predecessors.
Now, Paramount Pictures is bringing the film back to theaters, only it's going to look almost completely different to what fans of the franchise remember. Not only will it feature new takes, new and rearranged scenes and a whole new beginning and ending, even its name is changing.
Now, instead of being "Part III" of the "Godfather" trilogy, it looks like Coppola is reimagining this film as the "Coda" to his masterful "Godfather" duology, giving it the convoluted title "Mario Puzo's The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone."
It's not a terrible idea. Both of the first films won Best Picture Oscars and stand among the greatest of all time. The third film picked up seven nominations, but failed to take home any. Perhaps this new cut, launching in theaters this December, can change that story, too.
One thing cinephiles will be paying close attention to is how Coppola handles the scenes and performance of daughter Sofia Coppola. Cast as Mary Corleone, her performance was panned more than any other, and considered as one of the biggest weaknesses in the film.
According to Paramount, this new cut of the film brings it back in line with the original vision of both Coppola and Puzo, the film's screenwriters (the latter also the author of the book the series was based on).
"‘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,'" Coppola said in a statement.
"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.'"
As part of the process, Coppola and his American Zoetrope production company undertook a 4K frame-by-frame restoration of the original film alongside creation of this new version of the film.
For now, "Mario Puzo's The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleon" is scheduled to hit theaters in December. Of course, this is a COVID-19 world, so the state of theaters in December is impossible to predict, but at least there's a plan ... for now.