Paramount Pictures has announced that Francis Ford Coppola has recut The Godfather: Part III, the much-maligned final chapter of his epic Godfather trilogy, with the new – and fully restored – version of the 1990 movie set for release this December under the title of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.
“Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is an acknowledgement of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became The Godfather: Part III,” said Coppola. “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.”
Coppola initially resisted the opportunity to make a third Godfather movie, believing that the Corleone saga had been told completely with the first two movies, but ultimately relented, intending Part III to serve as an epilogue to the story rather than the concluding part of a trilogy. While it received seven Oscar nominations, the resulting film received a mixed response from critics and audiences.
The new version – released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the original cut – has been restored frame by frame from a 4K scan of the original negative, with Andrea Kalas, senior vice president at Paramount Archives, stating that 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.”