Francis Ford Coppola has been working overtime to promote his upcoming director’s cut of The Godfather Part III, now titled Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, and in the process, he may have tipped Paramount’s hand on the future of the franchise. While talking to Dave Itzkoff about returning to the cinematic crime family that put his name and Al Pacino‘s on the map, Coppola revealed that there were talks for a fourth Godfather movie that would’ve built on the events of the third movie, despite it being regarded as the “weaker” film in the saga. While those talks stalled in the late ’90s following the death of Puzo, Pacino and Andy Garcia quipped that the renewed attention over the director’s cut is going to have someone at Paramount sniffing around for a fourth installment.
However, both actors wouldn’t be interested in returning to the franchise unless Coppola is involved, and he has “made clear that he wants to move on.” But that doesn’t rule out The Godfather Part IV happening. Via The New York Times:
This does not prevent Paramount from making sequels if it wants to. “There may well be a ‘Godfather IV’ and ‘V’ and ‘VI,’” Coppola said. “I don’t own ‘The Godfather.’” (Paramount said in a statement, “While there are no imminent plans for another film in the ‘Godfather’ saga, given the enduring power of its legacy it remains a possibility if the right story emerges.”)
Of course, the struggle between Coppola and Paramount over sequels stretches all the way back to the first movie. While The Godfather Part II is considered to be one of the greatest sequels of all time, Coppola did not want to make second movie. He was eventually “seduced” by Paramount and their philosophy on the situation: “You’ve got Coca-Cola, why not make more Coca-Cola?”
(Via The New York Times)