A new cut of “The Godfather: Part III,” the final film in Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary crime trilogy, will premiere in theaters sometime in December.
Paramount Pictures announced that the new edit, titled “Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone,” achieves director-screenwriter Coppola and screenwriter (Mario) Puzo’s original vision for the finale. The re-cut has been billed as a celebration of the original film’s 30th anniversary.
While the first two “Godfather” movies are widely considered to be among the greatest films in cinema history, “Part III” did not enjoy a strong critical reception. The film followed Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) efforts to divest his family from the criminal empire he helped run in the first two “Godfather” films.
“‘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’ and I’m thankful to Jim Gianopulos and Paramount for allowing me to revisit it.”
Per Paramount Pictures, Coppola and his production company American Zoetrope worked from a 4K scan of the original negative to undertake a frame-by-frame restoration of both the new cut and the original “Part III” film.
The 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.
While Paramount Pictures’ unexpected news might delight die-hard fans of the franchise, the impending theatrical re-release of the film was announced amid ongoing controversies surrounding the reopening of movie theaters.
The opening of cinemas has been the source of months-long controversy due to the coronavirus pandemic and many of the nation’s theaters remain closed. The re-cut film will be released on home video sometime after its theatrical debut.
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