When the heads of Paramount Shots went seeking for anyone to immediate(1972), the identify did not happen to anyone. At that stage, the 31-year-aged Coppola had only designed a few films, none of which ended up even shut to the scale of The Godfather.
In his memoir(1994), production head Robert Evans spelled out his posture on Coppola. “The guy’s made three pictures,” Evans recalled pondering. “You’re a Major Boy Now: artsy-fartsy, no company Finian’s Rainbow, a top Broadway musical he made into a disaster and The Rain People, which everyone rained on.”
Eventually, they settled on Coppola because of his Italian-American background and the creative assure he’d shown. By then, Evans had made available the film to a extensive list of administrators, like some with Oscars on their mantle. But they all turned it down.
Paramount provided ‘The Godfather’ to Arthur Penn, Costa-Gavras, and many others
Mario Puzo had a bona fide smash hit with his novel The Godfather, 1st released in ’69. It bought someplace about nine million copies in two several years and stayed on the New York Situations bestseller list for extra than a calendar yr. Nonetheless Paramount received the legal rights to the e-book for mainly very little ($12,500, according to Evans).
In other phrases, Evans and his bosses could afford to pay for to pay out a large-title director if they desired. And certainly they required that. Evans recalled asking Arthur Penn, who’d directed Bonnie and Clyde a several yrs earlier. The remedy was no.
Evans also received a no from Costa-Gavras, the Greek director who’d been nominated for two Oscars (which include Very best Director) for Z, the fantastic image that had received Greatest Overseas Movie of 1969. (Z had also acquired a nod for Best Photo.)
Paramount retained managing down its prolonged listing. Elia Kazan, the Oscar-successful director who guidedby means of A Streetcar Named Drive and On the Waterfront, also turned down the task. So did Richard Brooks (Elmer Gantry, In Cold Blood), Peter Yates (Bullitt), and Franklin Schaffner, who’d directed World of the Apes and Coppola’s script of Patton.
Francis Ford Coppola also declined ‘The Godfather’
With no successful films to his name and the funds of his own creation firm underwater, Coppola was definitely in no position to flip down The Godfather. But that’s what he did, and Evans couldn’t imagine it. “[Coppola] couldn’t get a cartoon made in city, nonetheless he didn’t want to make The Godfather,” he wrote in The Kid Stays in the Image.
In(1990), Peter Biskind famous that Coppola’s Zoetrope creation residence owed $600,000 to Warner Bros. at the time he acquired the Godfather offer. “He owed far more cash all over town than Nathan Detroit in Men and Dolls,” as Evans put it.
Following declining a lowball present, Coppola agreed on terms of additional money, furthermore the proper to emphasis on the anti-capitalist and spouse and children factors of the Godfather tale. With Paramount’s owners about to promote the e-book rights to Burt Lancaster’s manufacturing firm, Evans agreed to Coppola.