The Godfather was the ninth feature film to be directed by Academy Award winner Francis Ford Coppola – but it was arguably the first feature film to cement him in the firmament of Hollywood as an icon. The 1972 crime drama – with a running time just shy of three hours – went on to spawn an entire trilogy that entered into popular culture, and continues to wield hefty influence today, a full 45 years after it was first released. That alone is reason enough to be very excited that HBO Films is developing Francis And The Godfather, which will seek to tell the story behind the making of that epic movie.
Based on the book by Mario Puzo, The Godfather featured a script by Puzo and Coppola, and chronicled events befalling the Corleone family, as the elderly patriarch hands control of his organized crime empire to his son. With Marlon Brando in the role of Don Vito Corleone, the film showcased the early talents of a young Al Pacino in the role of the incoming crime boss, and son of Vito, Michael Corleone. Joining them in the cast was James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and John Cazale.
The film received almost universal acclaim upon release, and has since entered into the annals of cinema history. But, being a Francis Ford Coppola production, the process of making the film itself was almost as fascinating as the finished product. This is the story that Francis And The Godfather will tackle, with a script from the 2015 Black List, by Andrew Farotte. It will depict the chain of events that brought Coppola to the project in the first place, the casting process, and the ways in which Coppola dealt with real mafia families during the production.
There’s no word yet on which director might take the helm of Francis And The Godfather, nor of who may be considered for the roles on offer. The project is still in the development stage, but we’ll be watching closely for announcements about who will have the opportunity to be involved in what is likely to be a giant success for HBO Films.