Release the Coppola Cut!
The Godfather Part 3
Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Godfather: Part III is considered by many, including a movie critic by the name of Roger Ebert at the time of release, to be the worst of the three Godfather movies. But now, it's getting re-edited by director Francis Ford Coppola himself for a theatrical release later this year. So... does that mean it'll be good now?

Coppola is working to restore and re-edit Part III. The version is dubbed Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, named after the filmmaker's co-screenwriter, author Mario Puzo, who penned the source material. It promises to achieve Coppola and Puzo's "original vision for the finale, which has been meticulously restored for the finest presentation of the Corleone saga’s last chapter," according to a press release.

Paramount Pictures plans to release this Coppola cut in theaters this December, followed by an at-home release.

"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. “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."

Released in 1990, the crime drama starred Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Talia Shire, and Sofia Coppola.

American Zoetrope, Coppola's production company, used a 4K scan of the original negative of the film for a frame-by-frame restoration of both the theatrical version of Part III and the new cut. The process lasted more than six months. Halfway through the project, Paramount notes work had to shift to remote locations in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles as the pandemic spread to the U.S.

“Mr. Coppola oversaw every aspect of the restoration while working on the new edit, ensuring that the film not only looks and sounds pristine, but also meets his personal standards and directorial vision,” Andrea Kalas, senior vice president of Paramount Archives, said in a statement.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Mario Puzo was working on the re-edit with Francis Ford Coppola. Puzo died in 1999. 

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