After its release, The Godfather was hailed as one of the greatest motion pictures ever made. Even now, 45 years after its debut, you’d be hard pressed to find another movie more beloved — both by critics and fans — than Francis Ford Coppola’s epic film about crime, family, and duty.
Based on the acclaimed novel by author Mario Puzo, The Godfather went on to win three Academy Awards — Best Actor for Marlon Brando, Best Adapted Screenplay for Coppola and Puzo, and Best Picture — and kick-started the career of Al Pacino. It even made it to the second spot on the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies of all time, behind only Citizen Kane. All that acclaim wasn’t without its share of effort and turmoil. From getting the script just right to finding the perfect cast, and even dealing with real life Mafioso, the making of The Godfather is a story worthy of a film all its own. And now it’s poised to be one.
Variety reports that HBO is developing Francis and The Godfather as an original film, telling the story about the making of the classic movie. Based on a script from writer Andrew Farotte (Dwelling), the script was featured on 2015’s Black List, which highlights the best unmade scripts in Hollywood, and is set to be produced by Mike Marcus (The Ward), Doug Mankoff (Nebraska), and Andrew Spaulding (The Young Messiah). Paul Bart, the executive who first optioned The Godfather for Paramount, will serve as a consultant on the project.
As of yet, no one is attached to direct and no names have been discussed to star in the film, which would follow how Coppola came to the project, the casting of Pacino and Brando, and the behind-the-scenes deal making with New York’s mob. Still, with all the elements in place, this could be one of the better movies about a movie in recent memory.
Coppola famously had to fight with producer Robert Evans and Paramount in order to gain control of the movie and to present as he first envisioned it while developing the film with Puzo. That led to much on and off set turmoil. Coppola fought the studio for years, all the while dealing with pressure from Mafia-affiliated groups who had a vested interest in shutting production down.
That The Godfather ever got completed is something of a minor miracle, and the story of its making is one of the more unique tales from the annals of Hollywood history. With the project merely in the development stage, there’s no word on when we might expect to finally see Francis and The Godfather, but we’ll keep you posted on all news as it develops.