Francis Ford Coppola is a name that is synonymous with cinematic excellence. As one of the most celebrated directors in Hollywood history, Coppola’s contributions to the film industry are immeasurable. Throughout his career, Coppola has tackled a range of subjects and genres, from gangster movies to romantic comedies. He has also been a trailblazer in the world of independent cinema. Coppola’s career began in the 1960s but was only able to grab the public’s attention after delivering groundbreaking movies like The Godfather in the 1970s.
Five-time Academy Award winner revealed that he didn’t like the source material for his iconic movie, The Godfather. But he later realized the core essence of the novel and decided to present it in an appealing form, which eventually resulted in the delivery of the most iconic film.
Also Read: Francis Ford Coppola Repeats Apocalypse Now ‘Infamous’ Terrifying Production With Megalopolis, Fires Entire Visual Effects Team
Francis Ford Coppola On The Novel Of The Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola was offered to make the movie based on the novel by Paramount, but the Apocalypse Now maker rejected the offer by just going through the 50 pages of it. Five-time Academy Award winner revealed that he thought the novel was pretty cheap and gross. Coppola highlighted the scenes he particularly believed were below the belt and never finished the book.
“When I was first offered the project, I started to read the book and I got only about 50 pages into it. I thought it was a popular, sensational novel, pretty cheap stuff. I got to the part about the singer supposedly modeled on Frank Sinatra and the girl Sonny Corleone liked so much because her v*gina was enormous—remember that stuff in the book? It never showed up in the movie. Anyway, I said, ‘My God, what is this—The Carpetbaggers?’ So I stopped reading it and said, ‘Forget it’.”
Francis Ford Coppola revealed that he accepted the offer a second time, only because he was broke at that particular time. The Conversation director stated that when he finished reading the novel completely, he realized its worth of it and decided to mold it in a new form by working on it.
“Four or five months later, I was again offered the opportunity to work on it and by that time, I was in dire financial straits with my own company in San Francisco, so I read further. Then I got into what the book is really about—the story of the family, this father, and his sons, and questions of power and succession—and I thought it was a terrific story if you could cut out all the other stuff. I decided it could be not only a successful movie but also a good movie. I wanted to concentrate on the central theme, and that’s what I tried to do.”
Also Read: The Godfather III: Coppola’s Masterpiece To Release With A Different Ending
Francis Ford Coppola On Working With Mario Puzo
Coppola worked with the original writer of the novel, Mario Puzo, to define the storyline for the movie. The Tetro director shared his experience of working with Puzo and emphasized that the two of them work differently.
“Never, I would do the first draft and send it to him and he would make corrections and rewrite and change anything he wanted to and send it back to me, and then I’d rework it again, and it went back and forth. We work in totally different ways. He’s much lazier than I am, which I think he’d admit. What we mainly have in common is that we both like to play baccarat and shoot dice. I like Mario very much.”
Also Read: ‘Francis Ford Coppola doesn’t give a damn’: Internet Divided as Godfather Director Casts Controversial Actor Shia LaBeouf in New Movie ‘Megalopolis’ While He Faces Sexual Assault Charges
The collaboration of two genius minds resulted in a movie that was both thrilling and emotionally resonant, with a richly drawn cast of characters who continue to captivate audiences to this day. The Godfather is available to stream on platforms like Amazon Prime Video.