Today, the notion of casting The Godfather differently verges on heresy, but a list of actors hand-written by director Francis Ford Coppola himself offers a look at a parallel-dimension version of the mafia classic.
Laurence Olivier in the titular Godfather role instead of Marlon Brando?
Dustin Hoffman or Martin Sheen as Michael Corleone instead of Al Pacino?
Ben Gazzara or John Saxon as Sonny instead of James Caan? (“Jimmy,” per Coppola’s notes.)
A lawsuit filed by filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola against the late science writer Carl Sagan and Warner Bros. was dismissed this week on the grounds that it was filed too late. Coppola (“The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now”) was seeking a portion of the earnings of the 1997 movie version of Sagan’s 1985 book “Contact,” which he claimed was based upon an idea of his. Coppola says he will appeal.
Director Francis Ford Coppola, 61, has lost his court appeal against Warner Bros. over an unrealized film project called “Pinocchio,” reports Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. He’s lost a lot more, too: the $20 million jury award that was part of the case. In 1998, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled that Warners falsely claimed to have a “Pinocchio” deal with the filmmaker (“The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now”) that prevented him from making the movie with Columbia Pictures. On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeals ruled that Warner Bros.