Francis Ford Coppola‘s THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER: PART II are some of cinema’s finest films, but THE GODFATHER: PART III, not so much. To be fair, there’s plenty to like about the third installment of the saga of Michael Corleone, but it just couldn’t hope to stand up to the excellence of the first two movies. It was announced earlier this month that Paramount Pictures had given Francis Ford Coppola a second shot at THE GODFATHER: PART III with the release of a restored and re-edited version of the film now titled MARIO PUZO’S THE GODFATHER, CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE. Bit of a mouthful, but I’m excited to check out this new version of the film.
Paramount Home Media Distribution announced today that MARIO PUZO’S THE GODFATHER, CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE will be released on Blu-ray/Digital on December 8, 2020. “‘Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone’ is an acknowledgement of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became ‘The Godfather: Part III,’” said Coppola in a statement. “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.“
The new edit of THE GODFATHER: PART III will clock in at 157 minutes, slightly shorter than the 162 minutes of the theatrical cut. Coppola and American Zoetrope have been working from a 4K scan of the original negative in order to undertake a painstaking, frame-by-frame restoration of the film.
In order to create the best presentation possible, Zoetrope and Paramount’s restoration team began by searching for over 50 original takes to replace lower resolution opticals in the original negative. This process took more than six months and involved sifting through 300 cartons of negative. American Zoetrope worked diligently to repair scratches, stains, and other anomalies that could not be addressed previously due to technology constraints, while enhancements were made to the original 5.1 audio mix.
The Blu-ray will include the newly restored and re-edited film, an exclusive introduction by Francis Ford Coppola, as well as access to a Digital copy of the film. Given the 4K scan that THE GODFATHER: PART III received, it’s likely that we’ll be getting a proper 4K release of the entire GODFATHER trilogy down the road. Will you be picking up the new director’s cut of THE GODFATHER: PART III?