Francis Ford Coppola may have re-edited his film “The Godfather Part III,” but he insists that the title for the new version, “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone,” was the film’s “original title” how he always intended it.
Paramount released a trailer of the newly cut version of “The Godfather Coda” that shows the film’s pristine and meticulous restoration efforts. But along with it, the studio has released a message from Coppola that will introduce the film when it debuts in theaters or at home. In it, he explains that the film has a new ending and beginning as well as other scenes that have been re-positioned throughout.
“In musical terms, a coda is sort of like an epilogue. It’s a summing up, and that’s what we intended the film to be,” Coppola said. “Many scenes have been re-positioned and the picture has been given I think a new life, which does in fact act as an illumination of what the two films meant.”
Coppola’s adaptation of Puzo’s novel chronicles the rise and fall of the Corleone family, and the third film follows Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), now in his 60s, as he seeks to free his family from crime and find a suitable successor to his empire.
Though “The Godfather Part III” was nominated for seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture, the production of the film was beset with drama after Robert Duvall did not return for the film, and numerous A-list stars dropped out of the part that eventually went to Coppola’s daughter, film director Sofia Coppola. And though the original cut has its admirers, it’s hardly held up as the worthy successor to the masterpiece that are the first two films from the ’70s.
“The Godfather Coda” will have a brief theatrical release in select theaters on December 4, and it will then become available on Blu-Ray and digital on Dec. 8. Check out the new trailer here and above, and below, watch Coppola’s video introduction to the film.