The general consensus is that The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are cinematic masterpieces, but that The Godfather Part III is…something of a disappointment. Even Francis Ford Coppola knows this and now the 81 year old auteur has reworked the final instalment in his Mafia saga with an entirely new cut – and a new title.
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is a new version of Coppola’s 1990 release, which is set to celebrate film’s 30th anniversary with a limited theatrical in December. It will then arrive on various home entertainment platforms.
This is what Coppola has said about the new cut of the film:
“‘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. 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.”
In recent years Coppola has recut Apocalypse Now and The Cotton Club and he has often talked about taking a crack at a new version of The Godfather Part III. The 1990 release has been long criticised for the casting of non-actor Sofia Coppola as the daughter of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone. Coppola cast his then 18 year old daughter after Winona Ryder withdrew from the film at the last minute.
It will be very intriguing to see what Coppola does with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone and how it will improve on the heavily flawed original. Time will tell.