It’s “strictly business” for Paramount Pictures, the studio that distributed the Godfather films. Paramount filed a lawsuit against Anthony Puzo, the son of author Mario Puzo and executor of the family estate, seeking to block a Godfather prequel, The Family Corleone, which is slated for publication by Grand Central Publishing in May.
The lawsuit claims that Paramount authorized one Godfather sequel — The Godfather Returns, published by Random House in 2004 — after Mario Puzo’s death in 1999, but not a second sequel, The Godfather’s Revenge in 2006. The studio claims in the suit that The Godfather’s Revenge “tarnished” the Godfather brand and falsely led consumers to believe the book was authorized by Paramount and that the Puzo estate is planning to use trademarks related to the Godfather films to promote The Family Corleone, written by Ed Falco.
A press release last year announced that The Family Corleone “takes place before the Corleones’ rise to power and tells the unknown history of how Vito Corleone fought to survive in the brutal criminal underworld to become the influential and respected Don in The Godfather.” Anthony Puzo said in the release, “Ed Falco has written a novel that is true to Mario Puzo’s legacy, and will be cherished by all Godfather fans.”
Grand Central Publishing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.