Oscar Isaac to play Francis Ford Coppola in a ‘Godfather’ making-of movie
The making of 'The Godfather' is one of the more compelling stories in cinematic history
The story of how The Godfather was made in 1972 is one of the more compelling ones in the history of movies. Francis Ford Coppola, the unheralded young director, was hired to adapt Mario Puzo’s novel, and clashed with various Paramount studio suits. He cast Marlon Brando, widely thought of at the time as an unreliable has-been. Not much was expected of the mob epic, but it became one of the most important and beloved films of all time.
That story has been told in various books over the years, but never on screen before. But that’s about to change, with the announcement of an intriguing-sounding project.
The Hollywood trades reported this week that Francis And The Godfather, based on a Black List-listed script by Andrew Farotte, is going forward. Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man) is the director, Oscar Isaac has been cast to play Coppola, and Jake Gyllenhaal will be playing Robert Evans, the legendary Hollywood executive and producer who had a hand in The Godfather, in his role as the head of Paramount Pictures.
There’s no word on casting for the other roles; it would appear the role of Brando would be a pivotal one.
It’s part of a wave of upcoming movies that cover the making of classic movies. David Fincher’s upcoming Mank is about the making of Citizen Kane, while Ben Affleck recently announced plans to direct The Big Goodbye, a film based on Sam Wasson’s book of the same name about the making of 1974’s Chinatown.
If the film is successful, it’s not hard to imagine a sequel, also starring Isaac as Coppola: Not about the relatively uneventful making of The Godfather: Part II, but rather Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which had one of the most tumultuous productions of any movie in history, and was already the subject of the 1991 documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, based on footage shot by the director’s wife, Eleanor Coppola.
As for Coppola himself, who is now 81, it’s not clear what the status is of his long-gestating dream project, Megalopolis, which he said in 2019 that he was getting ready to make. But we do now that a new edit of 1990’s The Godfather: Part III, called Mario Puzo’s The Godfather: Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, is on the way to theaters later this year, for the film’s 30th anniversary.