Francis and The Godfather: Oscar Isaac to Play Francis Ford Coppola, Jake Gyllenhaal Set as Robert Evans
Oscar-winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bugsy, Dopesick) is set to direct Francis and The Godfather, an upcoming drama about the “legendary and wild battles” behind the making of the 1972 Oscar-winning crime drama The Godfather, with Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Show Me a Hero, Ex Machina, Star Wars franchise) starring as The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola and Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Brokeback Mountain, Prisoners) portraying producer Robert Evans (via Deadline).
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Francis and The Godfather is based on a Black List script written by Andrew Farotte, which was redeveloped by Levinson.
“Out of the madness of production, and against all odds, a classic film happened,” said Levison, regarding the difficulties behind the development of The Godfather that the film will be exploring.
“Coppola was 31 at the time, determined to convince Evans and the studio to allow him to film expensively in New York, set in the time period of a novel which would become a big bestseller. This after the original Mario Puzo script was set in contemporary Kansas City. Among the other debates was the idea to gamble on Marlon Brando, an eclectic character who hadn’t been in a hit film in years, to play mob family patriarch Don Corleone (for which he would win the Best Actor prize), and also Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, a character who slowly evolved from a desire to get far away from the family business to taking it over when it was clear his father would be murdered even after a bungled assassination attempt. Evans, who took the top job after a career as an actor, had pressures all his own, as the studio was in danger of closing up shop. There was also the uneasy discussions with real mobsters who were none too pleased to have their dirty business to be aired in a major studio film,” the outlet shares.
Coppola reportedly gave his approval for Francis and the Godfather, saying: “Any move that Barry Levinson makes about anything, will be interesting and worthwhile!”
“Here was a young man who lived outside the system and every step of the way the system was telling him, ‘You can’t do that.’ But Francis never gave up on his vision and the result speaks for itself,” added Echo Lake Entertainment’s Mike Marcus.
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Echo Lake Entertainment’s Mike Marcus, Doug Mankoff, and Andrew Spaulding will produce along with Kevin Turen, Jon Levin, and Baltimore Pictures’ Jason Sosnoff.