Don Corleone might not want to be caught dead in a courtroom, but the “Godfather” series doesn’t look like it’ll be so lucky: the son of Mario Puzo, who wrote the original “Godfather” novel, filed papers with a federal court in Manhattan seeking to end Paramount Pictures’ rights to produce any future films based on the property. A hearing in the case is being held today.
Anthony Puzo’s lawyers contend that Paramount violated its contract last December when it tried to halt the publication of “The Family Corleone,” a prequel to “The Godfather” published in May that was written by Ed Falco and based on an unproduced screenplay by Mario Puzo. Paramount lawyers sued Mario Puzo’s estate, claiming it owned all publishing rights to “Godfather” sequels due to the 1969 purchase of the property from Puzo.
The Puzo estate’s lawyers are asking the Manhattan court to hold that the estate owns sequel publishing rights for “The Godfather,” and that Paramount can’t prevent any future sequels nor claim its has any rights to those books.