Francis Ford Coppola Readying New “Godfather III” Cut

Could this change the way you think about the trilogy as a whole?

Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola in 2019.
Getty Images for HFA

Some legendary American filmmakers are content to leave their finished work be — and then there’s Francis Ford Coppola. While he’s left some of his best-loved films alone, like The Godfather and The Conversation, he’s also revisited other elements of his filmography. He’s recut Apocalypse Now several times, and also revisited his period drama The Cotton Club. And now, Coppola is working on a new cut of arguably the most contentious film in his long career.

That would be 1990’s The Godfather: Part III. Following The Godfather and its sequel — two all-time greats — was never going to be an easy task, and despite garnering a number of Academy Award nominations, the film has never quite had the reputation of its predecessors. But with its director in the midst of a high-profile restoration and recut, who knows what might be next for it?

This news comes via The Film Stage, in an article by Leonard Pearce. The new version, Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, will be released in theaters in December. Afterwards, it will be released to purchase and stream.

“For this version of the finale, I created a new beginning and ending, and rearranged some scenes, shots, and music cues,” Coppola said about the new cut. He also referred to the new version as “a more appropriate conclusion to The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II.”

The restoration process took a total of six months; it also involved a necessary relocation due to coronavirus-related concerns. How will this new cut of Godfather III change the perceptions of the film — and of the trilogy as a whole? We’ll know in a few months.

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