Earlier this year Paramount sued the Mario Puzo estate — author of the venerable mafia tale, The Godfather — to halt the publication of an "unauthorized" story, pitched as a new sequel/prequel. It didn't jibe with the iconic reputation of the film series for the studio, but the estate countersued saying that their mutual contract didn't include book rights. Both parties have agreed to make a deal to allow the release of a new Godfather prequel — written by Ed Falco, "based on a screenplay by Mario Puzo," and recently published. The Depression-era The Family Corleone's profits will be put in escrow until the court decides who wins publishing rights. Deadline shares that "things could get more complicated if … 'there’s an attraction to do a movie.'"
Hopefully Paramount saves us from another Godfather III, but there's no word about a new movie or if director Francis Ford Coppola would even consider making a return (probably not, but stranger things have happened). We suppose Godfather II wasn't sequel/prequel-y enough for the book team. The 1974 film flashed back to Vito Corleone's (Robert De Niro) childhood in Sicily and his founding of the Corleone mafia family in New York City. Corleone arrives in the Big Apple and slowly begins a life of crime, becoming a revered figure in the mobster community by the early 1920s. We could easily see a movie emerging from this foundation, but with the wrong talent behind it things could go south very quickly.
Here's the book synopsis, which seems to focus on Vito and Sonny's early relationship. Let us know if you think there's room for a new Godfather movie in the canon.
"New York, 1933. The city and the nation are in the depths of the Great Depression. The crime families of New York have prospered in this time, but with the coming end of Prohibition, a battle is looming that will determine which organizations will rise and which will face a violent end.
For Vito Corleone, nothing is more important that his family's future. While his youngest children, Michael, Fredo, and Connie, are in school, unaware of their father's true occupation, and his adopted son Tom Hagen is a college student, he worries most about Sonny, his eldest child. Vito pushes Sonny to be a businessman, but Sonny-17 years-old, impatient and reckless-wants something else: To follow in his father's footsteps and become a part of the real family business."