When he started to compose The Godfather, Mario Puzo experienced realized he couldn’t survive on the minimal acclaim and meager compensation his literary fiction experienced attained him. He required to make some cash. And not like most writers who established out with that intention, Puzo sent. He wrote a wildly common novel that became a single of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.
Essentially, to say Puzo needed to make income isn’t pretty precise he wanted the funds. “I was 45 and fatigued of staying an artist,” he wrote in The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions. “I owed $20,000 to kin, finance corporations, financial institutions, and other assorted bookmakers and shylocks.”
Most of that went away when his agent acquired $410,000 (a record sum in the late ’60s) for the paperback legal rights to The Godfather. On the other hand, Puzo began to show he was as terrible with significant sums of cash as he was with compact types. Within just a handful of months, he’d used $100,000.
But he however had the movie legal rights to provide so he could come to be a millionaire, right? Not just: Puzo experienced marketed them right before he’d completed the ebook. He’d gotten a whopping $12,500 from Paramount Photographs for The Godfather.
Mario Puzo’s agent encouraged against the $12,500 ‘Godfather’ deal with Paramount
Legendary movie producers have a track record for viewing a picture’s likely from just a couple text (25 text or much less, per The Participant). So you could possibly believe that is what Paramount manufacturing head Robert Evans observed in Puzo’s outline for The Godfather.
Immediately after all, Paramount experienced created the deal for the film legal rights when Puzo only had 100 internet pages of the guide on paper. But Evans stated it did not go like that in his memoir The Child Stays in the Photograph. In his recollection, Evans agreed to obtain the legal rights to Puzo’s book for an inconsequential $12,500 as a favor, from one particular gambler to an additional.
Evans said that Puzo arrived to him in a jam, with the writer owing $10,000 to related loan sharks. “I appeared at it as a reward, a chit,” Evans wrote. “One gambler supporting one more gambler out of a heavy muscle mass jam.” Then the guide took off and Evans felt like he’d created the supreme rating.
“For 10 Gs and adjust, I sat owning the rights to the Hope diamond of literature,” he wrote. Evans was appropriate, of study course. But Puzo stated that assembly hardly ever occurred. And, anyway, his agent suggested versus optioning the movie legal rights for that quantity.
Puzo was absolutely broke when he agreed to the ‘Godfather’ offer
When mobsters may possibly not have been threatening to split Puzo’s legs more than his gambling debts, the writer himself admitted owing cash to financial loan sharks. So it was absolutely a possibility. The even bigger reason was, he owed funds to everyone.
And at the time Paramount built its miniscule present for the book, Puzo didn’t know if it would transform out effectively. So he disregarded his agent’s suggestions. “They recommended me to hold out,” Puzo wrote in The Godfather Papers. “That was like advising a man underwater to get a deep breath.”
Puzo recognized, and it took a even though for him to realize his folly. “The $12,500 appeared like Fort Knox,” he recalled. The tale has a joyful ending, of course. At the time Paramount built the image, Puzo obtained another $50,000, as well as a income to get the job done on the script. Then arrived a significantly additional worthwhile deal for the blockbuster sequel.