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With such mixed feelings about 'The Godfather 3', it's no wonder Francis Ford Coppola is reworking it. Here's what we know about the recut.

‘The Godfather 3’ gets recut: See the trailer for the “new” film

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is considered by film critics & historians to be one of the greatest films of all time. The third iteration of the franchise? Not so much. Though The Godfather Part III is seen as the weakest installment of the mobster crime series, director Francis Ford Coppola is officially getting a redo. 

In honor of its 30th anniversary, a new version, re-edited by Coppola himself, will hit select theaters December 4th as a limited engagement. Called Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, the film will then go on to be released on digital platforms & Blu-ray on December 8th. 

But what should we expect with this new reimagining? 

Why The Godfather Part III was bad

Like the two previous films, The Godfather Part III, follows Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), who is now the leader of the Corleone crime family. Aging & rethinking his life choices, Michael is contemplating moving on from the family business when internal and external forces threaten everything he’s built and loves. 

Before she directed film favorites like Lost in Translation, Marie Antonette & this year’s On the Rocks, Sofia Coppola received the worst reviews of her life acting as Micheal Corleone’s daughter, Mary. Only appearing in the third Godfather film, Coppola, Francis Ford’s daughter, was criticized for her wooden performance, lack of chemistry with love interest Andy Garcia, and swinging way out of her league in the acting department. 

The film’s problems didn’t entirely lie with Sofia. The convoluted plot and inability to function as a standalone film brought its own scrutiny. Famed film critic Roger Ebert said it was “not even possible to understand this film without knowing the first two,” a problem for any franchise film. 

Though the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture & Best Director, The Godfather Part III was also up for a few Golden Raspberry Awards. Also known as the Razzies, the award show is the Oscar equivalent for the worst films of the year. With such mixed feelings about the final Godfather film, it’s no wonder Francis Ford Coppola is reworking it. 

The new trailer

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” Featuring some of the most iconic lines & scenes from the franchise, the new trailer invites the audience to “experience the filmmaker’s true vision.” With picture perfect image quality and not a Sofia Coppola in sight (except a group shot at the end), this trailer promises to give the film “new life”. How much of the original film will be changed? The trailer isn’t giving it away! 

What to expect

While the trailer didn’t reveal too much, Francis Ford Coppola hinted: “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.”

This new edit could make diehard Godfather fans a little uneasy.  Andrea Kalas, senior vice president of Paramount Archives reassured everyone back in September of the time & care going into this newer version. “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.”

Ford Coppola won great acclaim for his 2001 director’s cut of his 1979 classic Apocalypse Now. Aptly titled Apocalypse Now Redux, this new film added an extra 49 minutes to its runtime and restored original scenes. With his track record & passion, Francis Ford Coppola might have another critical hit on his hands with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

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