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 'Godfather, Part IV by Gerry Shannon' by Guest Historian Gerry Shannon
Guest Historian Guest Historian Gerry Shannon says, In this scenario, Paramount Studios hired Francis Ford Coppola to co-write, (along with original Godfather author Mario Puzo), and then direct the third sequel to the 1972 original. In real life, the reason this never actually happened, at least according to Coppola, is that Puzo died in 1999 when Part IV was only being rumoured. (DiCaprio was said to be playing the young Sonny). Puzo does still die here, but only when the film is further along in production. The storyline, including roughly how Al Pacino would have featured, is taken from Coppola's comments on the Godfather Part III DVD commentary. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Todayinah site.
Michael Corleone

November 5

Andy Garcia

In 1999, while doing promotion for his latest film, the Michael Mann-directed The Insider, Al Pacino reveals his former girlfriend Diane Keaton has no intention in appearing in the latest Godfather sequel, currently filming.

Pacino, who broke off his long-standing relationship with Keaton in the early 90s, says, "I remember Diane was feeling short-changed by her character's role in the last one, and in all honesty, I could see what she meant. Francis Coppola had written a scene for her, a sort of a wrap-up for her story in the new one, but she passed".

Andy Garcia - Al Pacino
Al Pacino

June 8

In 2007, while doing promotion for heist sequel, Ocean's Thirteen, Andy Garcia laughs off recent rumours of a return to the Corleone crime family: "The Godfather Part V? Doubtful! The whole point of the last one was to wrap up Vincent's story, and he's dead, plus I don't really see how you could go further from the story with Bobby DeNiro and Leo DiCaprio in the past - that part kinda just set-up what you see in the first film. "

 - Andy Garcia
Andy Garcia

February 15

In 2008, In an interview about the making of her own sequel, Lost in Civilization, (the follow-up to her 2004 romantic drama, Lost In Translation), writer and director Sofia Coppola recalls she was to reprise her critically-malinged role as Mary Corleone in the last Godfather film: "I had died in Part III... but for Part IV, my father had this idea for me to appear in a dream sequence of Vincent [played by Andy Garcia]".

 - Sophia Coppola
Sophia Coppola

However, the daughter of famous filmmaker Francis Coppola was reluctant to play the character again that earned her such noterity by audiences in The Godfather Part III: "Dad tried his best to change my mind, but I said no. He still used my portrait in several scenes. But I don't think me or the film suffered from Mary's absence".

September 23

In 2008, on this day the Godfather: The Coppola Restoration boxset is released on DVD and BluRay.

As well as featuring all special features from the 2001 DVD set, it also features additional making of documentries and Easter Eggs. (including Andy Garcia and Robert DeNiro's joint 2000 appearance on Saturday Night Live to promote Part IV). As for the film themselves, all four Godfather films receive new transfers to their original film prints - and a documentary goes into extensive detail as to this process.


November 15

In 2000, on this day The Godfather Part IV is released. Co-written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, it is the fourth instalment of the film saga detailing the life and times of the Corleone crime family. Godfather Part IV by Gerry Shannon

The film tells the story of the rise of Don Vincent Mancini-Corleone (Andy Garcia) from the early- to mid-90s as he is forced into conflict with foreign drug cartels when dealings with them go sour. This story is inter-cut with flashbacks to the 1930s, borrowing much of it's material from Mario Puzo's original novel, and featuring the rise of Vincent's grandfather in New York, Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro, reprising his 1974 role) and his early success as Don while his children come to terms with his criminal legacy - chiefly from the POV of his eldest, Santino or Sonny (played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in the role made famous by James Caan in the original), the father that Vincent never knew. Al Pacino also briefly reprises his role as the ageing embittered Michael Corleone retired and alone in Sicily, in a memorable scene with Garcia set before Michael's death in the third film's coda, in which the former Don reveals the fate of his adopted brother Tom Hagen in a chilling monologue on family loyalty and betrayal. (Hagen was played by Robert Duvall, and notably abscent from Part III).

There is much industry and public skeptism prior to release, given the reaction to the much critically malinged 1990 third instalment, most especially the casting of DiCaprio as the young Sonny, him then being better known for heartthrob roles in Titanic or Romeo and Juliet. However early reviews and audience word-of-mouth prove surprising for Coppola and Paramount studios, with Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times saying, "Make no mistake: This is the kind of Godfather sequel we should have got in 1990. Coppola and Puzo's screenplay should be commended for very definitely ending the saga of the Corleones with great style and the powerful thematic qualities we've come to expect".

The film also earns several Oscar nods, winning 'Best Picture' (though in a surprise move, Coppola looses Best Director to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic), 'Best Actor' for Garcia, 'Best Supporting Actor' for DiCaprio and 'Best Adaptated Screenplay' for Coppola and Puzo. The last award is tinted with some tragedy however, given Mario Puzo's death shortly the previous year before the film's release, and Coppola's emotional tribute to his late collaborator is cited as one of the most moving Oscar speeches of all-time. Leonardo DiCaprio's win, meanwhile, kicks off further critical acclaim over the next decade by building on the early promise of his acting career - going on to further acclaim with leading roles in The Aviator, Catch Me If You Can, Blood Diamond, The Departed, and most especially his stunning portrayal as the villain the Joker in two Batman sequels, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Returns.

March 2

In 2000, Marlon Brando completes a day's work dubbing lines for certain scenes involving Robert DeNiro as Don Vito Corleone in the new Godfather film.

The Godfather Part IV, RebootIt is a role DeNiro reprises from the 1974 sequel, in which he played a younger version of the same character famously portrayed by Brando in the 1972 original.

Director Francis Coppola had read reports for the last several months that Brando, 76, was bitterly disappointed Coppola had not asked him to reprise the role of Vito in The Godfather Part IV, in flashback scenes set in the early mid- to late-1930s that detail the rise of the Corleone crime family in New York. however, Coopola decided early in the pre-production process that he was not keen on dealing with Brando's erratic nature on set as he did last in Apocalypse Now - and though Brando is noted as being robust for his age, the director thought the idea he would play Vito in his 40s to be faintly ridiculous.

However, it is DeNiro that is keen to suggests Brando perhaps dub some of DeNiro's own lines in his distinctive whispery tones for the sake of continuity and when DeNiro feels he didn't quite succeed in imitating Brando's Oscar-winning preformance from the first film. DeNiro's true reasons for allowing this is that he is keen to get Brando to agree to play a role in heist film The Score, currently starring DeNiro and Steve Buscemi.

Though Brando recieves a pricely sum for his services, Coppola stops short of giving into his demand for a star billing in the gangster sequel for just a few recorded lines and he instead gets a 'Very Special Thanks To' mention at the very end of the film's credits.

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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.