Apparent The Godfather saga isn’t done pulling Francis Ford Coppola back in one more time. According to a report, the conclusion of the trilogy will see a new edition, one that will try to finish the saga the way he originally intended: with a different name and, if possible, a fix to the story his daughter Sofia played out on film that has been widely panned since its release in 1990.
Vanity Fair reported on Thursday that Coppola is, indeed, releasing a re-edit of the third film in The Godfather series, this time giving it the name he and author Mario Puzo originally wanted for the film: The Death of Michael Corleone.
The project, saddled with the lengthy title Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, will debut in theaters (where open and available) in December before hitting digital platforms as well as physical media.
The very different title is a departure from what’s been known as Part III of the saga for decades, and according to a release will conclude the series in a different order as well.
“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,” Coppola said in a statement according to Vanity Fair. “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.”
Vanity Fair’s story about the re-release details the years-long retrospective Coppola has had in the press over what he would do if he were to release a re-edited version of the film, so it’s likely we know what will actually happen in Coda. It’s also a pretty thorough run through of all the issues the film had with production and casting, which seemed to hamper what we originally got on Christmas Day back in 2020. For one, the role his daughter, Sofia, played at just 19 with little acting experience is likely to be very different.
“I want to show Sofia a new version, because she is so beautiful in it and so touching,” he told Deadline. “She wasn’t an actress. But she was the real thing, playing that 19-year-old Italian girl in love with her own cousin [played in the film by Andy Garcia]. Godfather III as The Death of Michael Corleone is doubly painful because at the end he doesn’t die, but he does worse than die. He loses everything he loves—and he lives. There are certain things in life that are worse than death.”
The film will hit theaters in December, where possible, but is also on demand as the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic leaves the moviegoing experience entirely uncertain. For fans who may have been soured on the finale all those years ago, they just might be pulled right back in this winter.