Francis Ford Coppola says he’s ‘done’ with The Godfather: ‘I have other fish to fry’

Director also says his daughter, filmmaker Sofia Coppola, got ‘the last laugh’ over Godfather III backlash

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 06 December 2020 14:21
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The Godfather Part III - Trailer

Francis Ford Coppola has said he is “done” with The Godfather, ahead of the release of a new cut of The Godfather III.

The director said that much of his motive to re-edit the film was due to the negative criticism of his daughter and now-fellow filmmaker Sofia Coppola.

Sofia stepped in as a last-minute replacement for the character of Mary Corleone, Michael’s daughter, after Winona Ryder quit the production.

The then-18-year-old was torn apart by critics, who accused her of an “amateurish” performance.

“Life is a great screenwriter,” Coppola told The Guardian. "My daughter, Sofia, got such awful, unjust criticism for her performance in The Godfather Part III. She was 18 and was being told she’d ruined her father’s film.

“It was a deep wound for the poor kid. They were gunning for me, but she took the bullets. Now she is a more famous movie director than me. She got the last laugh!”

He said of being “done” with the franchise: “There is more that [screenwriter] Mario Puzo wrote that we never used. But I don’t own The Godfather, Paramount owns The Godfather, and they may well decide to make more films. I feel that I’ve made my trilogy. I have other fish to fry.”

Al Pacino recently said that he believed the new cut would change people’s minds about Sofia’s performance, and also defended her from past criticism.

“I love that girl, and at the time, it was a big thing. Imagine, a teenager being dragged over the coals like that, in her father’s film?” he told Deadline.

“There wasn’t an internet then but there is now and I hope they are decent to her, and more understanding,” Pacino said. “I do think the injury to his daughter was a real motivator for Francis. He probably just stared at the painting for a good long time, trying to figure out. And then, boom, he found it.”

The new cut, titled The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is in selected cinemas now and available on digital platforms and Blu-Ray from 8 December.

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