Monday, 21-Jun-1999 22:37:18
DiCaprio to star in fourth Godfather movie
By John Hiscock in Los Angeles
LEONARDO DICAPRIO is to star in a new Godfather film being developed
by the author Mario Puzo and director Francis Ford Coppola.
The fourth instalment of the Corleone Mafia saga will incorporate flashbacks
and tell two different stories set in the past and present. Although the script is
not yet finished, DiCaprio has suggested that he might play the young Sonny
Corleone, who was portrayed in The Godfather by James Caan.
Andy Garcia, who appeared in The Godfather, Part III, is a friend of DiCaprio
and Coppola and was instrumental in bringing them together, said the
Hollywood Reporter, the film industry newspaper. He will also have a role in
the new film.
Like the previous three films in the saga, Godfather IV will be made by
Paramount whose executives are enthusiastic about continuing the Godfather
franchise with DiCaprio. A Paramount spokesman said: "It will be expensive
because Coppola, DiCaprio and Puzo will all be paid huge salaries plus
percentages of the profits but it will undoubtedly be one of the most anticipated
films of the new Millennium. Leo is the hottest thing around at the moment."
DiCaprio, who became an international star after Titanic, recently returned
from Thailand, where he starred in The Beach, an adaptation of the novel by
Alex Garland, a Briton. Coppola, who has been discussing another Godfather
film with Paramount for five years, confirmed that DiCaprio, Garcia and Puzo
were in talks with the studio.
When Coppola made the original Godfather in 1972, he was a little-known
director and critics labelled it a glorified gangster film. But it turned out to be
one of the most acclaimed films in cinema history, surpassing even the wildest
Starring Marlon Brando as Mafia patriarch Don Corleone, The Godfather won
Oscars for best picture, best actor and best adapted screenplay. One critic said
it was "the Seventies answer to Gone With the Wind".
Ironically, Coppola did not want to make The Godfather, which was originally
titled Mafia. Later he recalled: "At first, I turned it down. I didn't like the book
but I went ahead and it was the most horrible experience of my life. The studio
didn't like my casting. They didn't like my visuals. They didn't like anything. I
thought I was getting fired every week. I absolutely hated the experience,
except for the actors.
"When it was done, I was totally set up for it to be a failure. The good thing
was that after the success of the first Godfather, I got to make Godfather II
any way I wanted to. To my shock, the first film was successful but it suckered
me into a career different than I would have planned for myself."
Coppola and Puzo made Godfather II in 1974. The film contrasted the life of
Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, with the early days of his father, played
by Robert De Niro, as an immigrant in New York. It won six Oscars, including
best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay.
Godfather III, which reunited Pacino, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire from the
first two films, was released in 1990 to mixed reviews. Critics believe it
suffered from the casting of Coppola's daughter, Sofia, who replaced Winona
Coppola, who won another best director Oscar nomination, said: "I felt the
movie was pretty interesting but it wasn't the type of ride people had come to
expect from the Godfather movies."
Beth in California
|Beth in California: The British press reporting on "Godfather IV" (21-Jun-1999 22:32:07)|
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