Decades after Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather saga has concluded, the endless fascination with both the films themselves as well as their creation continues. The director himself has just finished a brand-new cut of the third entry, Barry Jenkins is drawing inspiration from the second entry for his new Lion King movie, and now another project has surfaced which will dive deep into the making of the first film.
Deadline reports Oscar Isaac will star as Francis Ford Coppola and Jake Gyllenhaal will play Robert Evans in Francis and The Godfather, a new film directed by Barry Levinson. Based on a Black List script by Andrew Farotte, the drama will follow the tumultuous battles in getting the first film off the ground in the early 1970s. (For anyone who dove deep into the special features on its many disc releases, especially Coppola’s commentary, you will be very familiar with this story already.)
“Out of the madness of production, and against all odds, a classic film happened,” Levinson said. Part of the many struggles to get the film made under Robert Evans––who was VP of Paramount Pictures and Head of Production at the time––included its expensive NYC on-location shoot, the gamble of casting Marlon Brando, who was past his prime, as well as involvement with real-life mobsters. And this was all in the hands of a 31-year-old direct, making for quite a wild tale.
Coppola has also already given his blessing without saying anything direct, adding, “Any movie that Barry Levinson makes about anything, will be interesting and worthwhile!” As for the casting of Isaac and Gyllenhaal, it’s quite perfect, with the former already getting some mob drama action in A Most Violent Year, and the latter certainly able to bring the energy for a man like Evans. Let’s hope Levinson can supply the intended drama for a story already so well-known. With David Fincher’s Mank, about the making of Citizen Kane, and Ben Affleck’s drama exploring the behind-the-scenes of Chinatown both on the way, it seems as if this trend of exploring classic Hollywood productions has only just begun.
Watch an interview with Evans (who passed away late last year) about his career below.