Everyone used to rag on George Lucas for the special edition version of the original “Star Wars” trilogy with new VFX, new footage, etc. But let’s face it, no living legendary filmmaker is worse for toying with his classic films that Francis Ford Coppola, who has basically made an entire side career by re-releasing his films in new versions. There have been at least two major reworked versions of “Apocalypse Now,” new cuts of “One From The Heart,” “The Cotton Club,” and there’s been talk of a new cut of “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” coming too. For now, there’s just a new version of “The Godfather Part 3,” now retitled (wait for it), “Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.”
While “The Godfather” parts one and two are certifiable masterpieces of cinema, “The Godfather: Part III,” was a belated sequel that arrived sixteen years after the fact. Coppola has admitted many times over the years that the only release he made, ‘Part III,’ was because his friend Mario Puzo was broke, and he wanted to help him out while closing out the trilogy. Either way, it seemed to be a bad idea as critics panned the movie, the performance of his daughter Sofia Coppola—who many decried only had a role because of nepotism and her part was way too big given her tepid abilities at the time—and went down as a big blunder.
Now, like other critically maligned films that Coppola has tried to rescue, like “One From The Heart,” and “The Cotton Club,” the filmmaker has done his new ‘The Death of Michael Corleone’ cut.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone follows Michael Corleone, now in his 60s, as he seeks to free his family from crime and find a suitable successor to his empire.
The original runtime was 162 minutes, and this one shaves off 10 minutes with a 152 runtime, but it’s supposed to be a substantial recut that’s not just shorter. The film stars Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Andy García, Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, Bridget Fonda, George Hamilton, and Sofia Coppola. “Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.” comes to Blu-Ray and Digital December 8 and also hits select theaters on December 4 via Paramount. Watch the new trailer below and also an intro explanatory featurette by Coppola himself.