The first two films of The Godfather trilogy are considered two of the greatest films ever made. The third one...not so much. Between the film's convoluted story, it's leaning on the narratives of the first two, and the questions of nepotism that still revolves around director Francis Ford Coppola casting his own daughter in the prominent role of Mary Corleone, it's never quite gained any kind of reappraisal. However, Coppola seems determined to fix that.
While he's said it several times of the year, Coppola always envisioned the first two films as their own story and Part III as an epilogue. To try and amend that, he's releasing a new cut which is titled more as a standalone feature with the new title The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. Notably, the film will feature an all-new beginning and end, but the film's runtime is notably set to be 5 minutes shorter than the original theatrical cut, being set to be 157 minutes long (2 hours and 37 minutes long). Coppola released a statement today in regards to the upcoming release, particularly in how he is crafting a cut which is true to both his and the late Mario Puzo’s vision:
“Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is an acknowledgment 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.”
On a technical level, the film received a frame by frame process to replace low-resolution optics in the film’s original negative along with enhancements made to the original 5.1 audio mix. Today, new cover art for the film's Blu-Ray has been released which carries the new title. Check it out below:
The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone have a brief theatrical release before arriving on VOD and Blu-Ray release on December 8th. Stay tuned!