An interesting indie drama is in the works with two big stars attached. Oscar Isaac and Jake Gyllenhaal have agreed to star in Francis & The Godfather.
If that title sounds similar to a certain other film, that’s about right, as the duo will play director Francis Ford Coppola and producer Robert Evans respectively, and the film will chronicle the making of the legendary 1972 film, The Godfather.
Barry Levinson will direct from a Black List script originally written by Andrew Farotte that Levinson has since redeveloped.
The making of The Godfather is infamous, as there were huge behind-the-scenes battles between Coppola and the studio on everything from shooting locations to casting, due to the high cost of filming in New York, combined with the fact that Marlon Brando hadn’t been in a hit for years. On top of that, the real Mafia wasn’t exactly excited to see Mario Puzo‘s bestselling novel made into a film.
Obviously, it all worked out in the end, and The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. Now Levinson and co. will seek to tell the story of how it got to that esteemed spot in the film world.
He’ll also have the tricky task of finding actors who can portray unique, indelible figures such as Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, and Diane Keaton.
Coppola himself has reportedly given his approval to both the project and casting, according to Deadline. This news also comes just weeks after the director announced that he’s working on a new cut of The Godfather Part III.
Mike Marcus, one of the producers for Echo Lake Entertainment, who are producing the film alongside Baltimore Pictures, told Deadline: “Here was a young man who lived outside the system and every step of the way the system was telling him, ‘You can’t do that.’ But Francis never gave up on his vision and the result speaks for itself”.
Usually making anything connected with a classic film is a bad idea, simply because the new thing is always going to be inferior to the original. While that will surely still be the case here, a film starring Isaac and Gyllenhaal about the making of The Godfather can only be good, right?
Two of the best contemporary actors playing a legendary directer-producer duo and diving deep into an acclaimed film? It’s hard to know what could go wrong, but who knows. Whatever the eventual film looks like, it has no doubt shot towards the top of many film fan’s Most Anticipated lists.
This might be a trend, as Francis & The Godfather isn’t actually the only classic 70s film Hollywood is revisiting via a narrative-driven, behind-the-scenes project, as Ben Affleck is also developing The Big Goodbye, which is about the making of Chinatown. If these movies are hits, expect to see similar films about other classics from the same era.