HBO Developing ‘Godfather’ Behind-the-Scenes Movie From Black List Script (EXCLUSIVE)

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

HBO Films is developing “Francis & the Godfather,” a scripted movie that chronicles the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 feature adaptation of the novel by Mario Puzo. The script hails from screenwriter Andrew Farotte, who is revising his original screenplay that appeared on the 2015 Black List.


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Mike Marcus, Doug Mankoff, and Andrew Spaulding will serve as executive producers on the film. Peter Bart, who as an executive at Paramount first optioned Puzo’s novel and worked closely with Robert Evans and Coppola, will serve as a consultant. Echo Lake Entertainment is producing.

“Francis & the Godfather” tells the behind-the-scenes story of the film’s creation, from Coppola joining the project to the casting of Al Pacino and Marlon Brando to dealings with the real-life New York mafia. The project is part of an ongoing push into television by Echo Lake, which in 2014 brought in former A&E executive Chris Davis to head TV development.

Released in 1972, “The Godfather” is largely regarded as one of the greatest feature films in American history. In 1973, the film won Academy Awards for best picture, for best actor (Brando), and for adapted screenplay (Puzo and Coppola).

In a 1972 review for Variety, A.D. Murphy hailed “The Godfather” as a breakout for Pacino, writing, “It is Pacino, last seen (by too few) in ‘Panic In Needle Park,’ who makes the smash impression here. Initially seen as the son whom Brando wanted to go more or less straight (while son James Caan was to become part of the organization), Pacino matures under the trauma of an assassination attempt on Brando, his own double-murder revenge for that on corrupt cop Sterling Hayden and rival gangster Al Lettieri, the counter-vengeance murder of his Sicilian bride, and a series of other personnel readjustments which at fadeout find him king of his own mob.”

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  1. Luca Brasi says:

    The writer of this article is a MORON who needs to check his work!!!! Don Corleone’s rival gangster is not Al Lettier, it was Virgil Sollozzo. Al Lettier was the actor who played Solozzo. You should be sleeping with the fishes!!!

  2. Francis says:

    Being on the Black List had nothing to do with this script landing where it did. Stop implying otherwise.

  3. Leon says:

    What a waste. hollywood = out of touch

    • Erik Carlson says:

      What kinds of films would you like to see them make? If something different, feel free to make your own. Make the films that you want to see. That’s what Coppola and the others did in the 70s. I mean that in all seriousness too. The technology is at everyone’s fingertips. They just have to use it.

  4. Burro b says:

    I’m 38 and I care so why don’t you let people decide you Jeffrey.

  5. Wut says:

    No one cares. – Only old people like me remember The Godfather movies with enough interest to maybe tune in to something like this. Thirty year olds & younger will be hard to attract.

    • meta says:

      when i was in my 20s I saw the godfather at least 50 times.

    • Erik Carlson says:

      I turn 28 this year and I’ve grown up loving many of the films from the 70s. Even though the Godfather wasn’t one of them, I’d love to learn more about its making, both in documentary and dramatized form.

  6. J T P – don’t know if you are old enough to remember all the goings on before the film was made – but it is indeed an interesting story of the making of The Godfather. Can’t wait.

  7. J T P says:

    This is a lame idea for a movie.

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