"It’s 21 years since I wrote this song, I’m 91 now and I’ve been dead for 12 years.” Not quite the Billy Brag classic I think you’ll agree but bear with me. It has indeed been 21 years since the last and worst of the Godfather films but next year there will be a new book and screenplay by Edward Falco (relatively unknown uncle of Edie Falco of Soprano’s fame) based on an unpublished Mario Puzo (1920-1999) novel charting the lives of the Andolini’s from Corleone in Sicily before Vito came to America. Since the last film which was not well received despite an admirable effort by Andy Garcia we have had Goodfellas (1990), Bugsy (1991), Casino (1995), Mobsters (1991), A Bronx Tale (1993) and a fair few well-made British underworld drama such as Sexy Beast (2000), Layer Cake (2004), Rocknrolla (2008) and Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels (1998). So is there a need for a Godfather Prequel and what should we expect?
One suspects it might be a story told alongside that of the mafia itself as local criminal protectionist families made alliances in turn of the century Sicily as the Mafia would have been fairly young itself at that time. There will likely be parallels to the 2nd film and more will be learned about maybe Don Fanucci’s family and the back story to Vito’s murder of Don Ciccio to avenge that of his father Antonio Andolini.
Don Ciccio: I see you took the name of the town. What was your father's name?
Vito Corleone: Antonio Andolini.
Don Ciccio: You'll have to speak up. I can't hear you
Vito Corleone: My father's name was Antonio Andolini... and this is for you. [slits open his belly]
Michael Mann would do a good if job of it as would Brian de Palma but I would love to see it given to Quentin Tarantino. The danger is that a project like this becomes clichéd and run of the mill
Were this screenplay to be made into a movie, and one suspects the only point that it is being talked about is that it will, who will direct? It would be a great story to give it to Sofia Coppola as her name is synonymous with the worst of the trilogy so far as her performance as an actor in Godfather III was widely criticised and rightly so. She’s very capable as Lost in Translation (2003) shows us and it may prove cathartic if it is successful. I don’t think that will happen though, it’s not really her style of film so who would do a good job? Is Scorcese in the market to work on someone else’s baby? Probably not. Michael Mann would do a good if job of it as would Brian de Palma but I would love to see it given to Quentin Tarantino. The danger is that a project like this becomes clichéd and run of the mill. Most angles of mafia culture have been covered in film and it’s also been parodies in Wise Guys (1986) so it has to be different. QT would breathe life into the genre and on the back of a storming return to form with Inglorious Basterds (2009) I think he would make a fantastic job of it.
As the third film is so long ago and the chronology is out, casting for the film will be interesting. I guess the producers will have the pick of Hollywood’s brightest for the main characters. You will need Latin beauties, young rugged Italian types, family patriarchs and baddies.
Who would you cast? Here’s a few ideas:
Latin Beauties: Salma Hayek, Paz Vega, Selina Gomez, Paz de la Huerta, Penelope Cruz
Rugged Italian men: James Franco, Vincent Cassell, Benicio del Torro, Adrien Brody, Leonardo DiCaprio
Patriarchs: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Christopher Walken, Paul Giamatti, Nicholas Cage
Baddies: Stanley Tucci, Javier Bardem, John Malcovich, Chazz Palminteri, John Leguizamo
What is for sure is this will be talked about and talked about and talked about, this is the baggage it brings so it better be good and it better be different. I for one can’t wait.
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