Director’s cuts are nothing new. All the recent hype around Warner Bros letting Zack Snyder finally recut the Justice League movie in a way that he intended seems to have fanned those particular flames though, as news comes out that Paramount has decided to release a new version of The Godfather 3. Titled Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (yes, it is a ridiculously clumsy title), this is reportedly closer to the original direction Francis Ford Coppola wanted to go with the movie before studio execs simplified it for theatrical release because they felt it was too complex for the mainstream audiences.
The Godfather trilogy of movies is generally regarded as one of the best movie trilogies of all time, with all three films receiving multiple Oscar nominations and wins along the way. However, despite that success, the third film is often regarded as the weakest of the three films. A large part of that could perhaps be attributed to the fact that Coppola initially intended for the second film to be the end of the Corleone story, but when offered a sizeable payday, he agreed to do another chapter. Some pundits argue that this led to the film not quite being as well-structured or thought out as the first two remarkable films – despite the third film still actually being a good one. Coppola seemingly believes now that he deserves a chance to set that record straight and to allow his classic trilogy to be finished off on a note that he feels it deserves:
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone’ is an acknowledgement of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became The Godfather: Part III. 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.
This re-release will take place 30 years after that film’s initial run and to be quite honest, that is my biggest problem with this remake. Whereas Snyder’s chance comes from a movie and franchise still fresh in everyone’s minds and where the final result of the film was substantially different from what was intended, having this released thirty years on when people have long since moved on from the film – which I thought was already good to begin with – feels like a bit of a waste of time.
Still, Coppola is a director who deserves respect and perhaps he can prove that there is indeed a far superior version of The Godfather 3 from the one we got and more in line with the high standards of those first two films. We won’t have to wait too long to find out as Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is scheduled to drop this December.