Buzz around Francis Ford Coppola’s “Godfather” trilogy has reignited now that the filmmaker has finished his recut of “The Godfather Part III,” which is being released by Paramount this month under the official title of “Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.” With passion for the mobster franchise still very much alive, would Paramount move forward with a fourth “Godfather” movie? The studio gave a statement to The New York Times on the matter that leaves the door wide open for more Corleone cinematic drama.
The Paramount statement reads: “While there are no imminent plans for another film in the ‘Godfather’ saga, given the enduring power of its legacy it remains a possibility if the right story emerges.”
Even if Paramount moves ahead with a fourth “Godfather,” don’t expect Coppola back in the director’s chair. While the filmmaker told The New York Times “there may well be a ‘Godfather IV’ and ‘V’ and ‘VI,’” he added that “I won’t do ’em.” Coppola does not own the rights to “The Godfather” franchise, meaning Paramount doesn’t need his involvement should the studio decide to give the franchise another installment.
Following the original release of “The Godfather Part III” in 1990, Coppola flirted with the idea of developing “The Godfather Part IV.” The fourth entry would have continued the story of Vincent Corleone, the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone (James Caan). Andy Garcia debuted as Vincent in the third film. Coppola envisioned “Part IV” as a counterpart to “Part II,” in which the story would continue with Vincent in the present while flashing back to a pivotal moment in the relationship of Sonny and Vito (played by Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro in the first two films).
Coppola co-wrote all three “Godfather” movies with Mario Puzo, the author whose 1969 “Godfather” crime novel served as the inspiration for the first movie. After Puzo died in 1999, Coppola put his plan for “The Godfather Part IV” to rest as he refused to develop another film without the involvement of the author.
In an interview with Insider, Andy Garcia said he would be interested in directing a fourth “Godfather” movie if Coppola were to give him his blessing. “Whatever Francis wants, I would never question it. I owe him,” the actor said, adding that he would return to play Vincent whether it be film or television. “For Paramount, it’s a franchise. Even if you wanted to do a limited series called ‘Vincent’ that doesn’t have to do with the other movies, people want to see it.”
While a fourth “Godfather” movie remains a possibility, fans of the mob franchise are confirmed to be getting two new projects about the making of Coppola’s masterpiece. ViacomCBS’ new streaming service Paramount+ is developing a limited series titled “The Offer,” starring Armie Hammer as “Godfather” producer Al Ruddy, while Barry Levinson is directing “Francis and The Godfather,” starring Oscar Isaac as Coppola and Jake Gyllenhaal as Paramount boss Robert Evans.
Paramount is releasing Coppola’s “The Godfather Coda” in theaters December 4, followed by a VOD launch later in December.