Francis Ford Coppola has always wanted to take another shot at presenting THE GODFATHER PART III and now it appears as if the filmmaker and Paramount have come together on a deal that neither party could refuse. Paramount Pictures announced today it will release a new edit and restoration of Francis Ford Coppola’s final film in his epic Godfather trilogy entitled Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. Try saying that three times fast.
This new version of The Godfather: Part III achieves director/screenwriter Coppola and screenwriter Puzo’s original vision for the finale, which has been meticulously restored for the finest presentation of the Corleone saga’s last chapter. As per the deal, Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will have a limited theatrical release in December, followed by Digital and disc-related releases.
“‘Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone’ is an acknowledgment of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became ‘The Godfather: Part III,’” said Coppola. “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 order to create this re-imagining of the classic crime series finale, Coppola and his production company American Zoetrope explored a 4K scan of the original negative to tackle a meticulous, frame-by-frame restoration both the new Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone and the original The Godfather: Part III. To make certain that they achieved the best version possible, Coppola and others involved took more than six months to paw through 300 cartons of negative film. Then, like a group of cinematic surgeons, American Zoetrope got right in there to repair scratches, stains, and other anomalies that could not be addressed previously due to technology constraints. Additionally, the team also made enhancements to the film’s original 5.1 audio mixes, making for a better auditory experience overall.
Oh, and if you think that this project was free of frustration during the coronavirus pandemic, you’d be as wrong as the feeling of waking up next to a severed horse’s head in your bed. At one point in the project’s development, all work – including the search for the negative – was passed to the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles to be completed by Zoetrope and Paramount remotely.
“Mr. Coppola oversaw every aspect of the restoration while working on the new edit, ensuring that the film not only looks and sounds pristine but also meets his personal standards and directorial vision,” said Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives.
Again, Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will have a limited theatrical release in December, followed by availability on Digital home entertainment platforms and on disc.