Francis Ford Coppola is working on a new edit — complete with a new ending — to The Godfather Part III

By Alexia Fernandez
September 03, 2020 08:19 PM
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Al Pacino in The Godfather III
| Credit: everette

The Godfather Part III is making its way back into theaters.

Paramount Pictures is working on a new edit and restoration of Francis Ford Coppola's final installment in the trilogy, the studio said in a release on Thursday.

The film, which debuted in 1990, will be re-released into theaters in December under a new title, Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

“‘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.

He continued, “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.”

The third installment was originally released 16 years after The Godfather Part II and focused on Michael Corleone’s struggles to free his family from the crime syndicate his father established.

Al Pacino starred as Michael, while the rest of the cast included Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Coppola's daughter Sofia as Michael's daughter Mary.

The movie was nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Andy Garcia.

Despite its nominations, the film was panned by critics, earning a 69% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critic's consensus saying, “The final installment of The Godfather saga recalls its predecessors’ power when it’s strictly business, but underwhelming performances and confused tonality brings less closure to the Corleone story.”

Coppola’s daughter, Sofia, was also criticized for her performance, although Roger Ebert at the time defended the young actress-turned-director.

“There is no way to predict what kind of performance Francis Ford Coppola might have obtained from Winona Ryder, the experienced and talented young actress, who was originally set to play this role,” Ebert wrote. “But I think Sofia Coppola brings a quality of her own to Mary Corleone. A certain up-front vulnerability and simplicity that I think are appropriate and right for the role.”