Paramount+ is about to make you an offer you can’t refuse. The streaming service announced back in 2020 that, along with their rebranding from CBS All Access to Paramount, that they would be bringing audiences a limited series about the making of “The Godfather” titled “The Offer.” The move was met with some raised eyebrows as it seemed like a push for the burgeoning streamer to mine from its extensive, existing intellectual property.
In an ironic twist, similar to production of the film it is discussing, “The Offer” has had a rough road to completion. In 2021, “Top Gun: Maverick” star Miles Teller was brought in to replace Armie Hammer as Albert Ruddy. After that, the series had to pause production after one of the cast tested positive for COVID-19. But, thankfully, the show did go on and now audiences are just a week away from seeing what is on tap with “The Offer.”
With Paramount+ making this series it’s hoped that it might inspire a deeper dive into Paramount’s expansive legacy of titles. With classic films still largely unavailable on streaming services, it is hoped that a show like this could foster an appreciation for classic cinema and the movies that made Paramount one of the major studios of its era.
“The Offer” is based on the experiences producer Albert S. Ruddy had while working on Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel about an Italian American mob family and their in-fighting between each other as well as with other Mafioso. The film had a lot of challenges out of the gate, starting with the fact that Puzo’s novel angered Italian Americans and, most especially, the Mafia. A key reason why the word “mafia” isn’t found in Puzo’s text was to head-off complaints from the Columbo crime family. According to Ruddy, the Mob threatened the production, salted deals between the production and actors, and generally did not want to see the movie get made.
With a production like that it is easy to see why show creator Michael Tolkin was interested. Tolkin told Vanity Fair earlier this year that adapting the true story was a no-brainer. “What sealed it for me was when Al [Ruddy] said, ‘Every day of making ‘The Godfather’ was the worst day in my life,’ and that told me we had a show,” Tolin said. ”For every character in the film, getting it made or stopping it from being made was at the core of their actions, and it was a matter of life and death to them.”
Miles Teller will play producer Albert S. Ruddy. Dan Fogler stars as director Francis Ford Coppola, with Matthew Goode playing Paramount Studios chief Robert Evans, and Juno Temple portraying Rudy’s secretary Bettye McCartt. Giovanni Ribisi is notorious mobster Joe Colombo, who campaigned against the film for its “hatred and prejudice” in its portrayal of the Italian-American community. Colin Hanks and Burn Gorman play studio executives.
“Rocketman” director Dexter Fletcher helms several episodes of the series and serves as an executive producer alongside series creator Michael Tolklin, showrunner and co-writer Nikki Toscano, and the real-life Ruddy.
The film is not a remake of Coppola’s film, thankfully enough. It seeks to look at the making of the movie itself. Interestingly, while “The Offer” is the first production to look at this specific film, it is not the last.
Towards the end of 2020 Deadline reported that director Barry Levinson was also planning something about the making of “The Godfather,” called “Francis and The Godfather.” This would be a film, compared to “The Offer,” which is a limited series. Back in September it was announced that “Moon Knight” star Oscar Isaac would play Coppola, with Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Evans. The film is based on a Black List script by Andrew Farotte. At this time there’s been no word on “Francis and the Godfather” short of it being in pre-production.
The series consists of ten episodes around an hour long. The episodes will drop weekly.
“The Offer” will be exclusively available to watch on Paramount+ starting April 28.
Paramount+ will have all three installments of “The Godfather” available on the service on the same day the show premieres, April 28.