Sergio Leone Web Board

General Information => General Discussion => Topic started by: Groggy on January 14, 2016, 05:52:14 PM



Title: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: Groggy on January 14, 2016, 05:52:14 PM
I couldn't find a thread where this was discussed, despite several Godfather-related topics.

We hear from Frayling and Leone's own testimony that he was offered the chance to direct The Godfather, even that he was Charles Bluhdorn's personal choice. I've read most of the Godfather-related making-of books (Cowie, Lebo, etc.) and none of them mentions Leone at all (except Cowie briefly discussing OUATIA). Might be an oversight, but these books provide an exhaustive list of directors approached to direct The Godfather before Coppola, from obvious choices (Arthur Penn, Peter Yates) to the not-so-obvious (Costa-Gavras? Richard Lester?) and Sergio's nowhere to be found. It seems an odd exclusion given how often Leone's story is repeated.

Do our resident Leone scholars know of an outside source that corroborates Leone's claim?



Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: Novecento on January 14, 2016, 09:32:13 PM
Didn't you know that his full name was Sergio CorLeone ?


Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: stanton on January 15, 2016, 02:29:44 AM
I couldn't find a thread where this was discussed, despite several Godfather-related topics.

We hear from Frayling and Leone's own testimony that he was offered the chance to direct The Godfather, even that he was Charles Bluhdorn's personal choice. I've read most of the Godfather-related making-of books (Cowie, Lebo, etc.) and none of them mentions Leone at all (except Cowie briefly discussing OUATIA). Might be an oversight, but these books provide an exhaustive list of directors approached to direct The Godfather before Coppola, from obvious choices (Arthur Penn, Peter Yates) to the not-so-obvious (Costa-Gavras? Richard Lester?) and Sergio's nowhere to be found. It seems an odd exclusion given how often Leone's story is repeated.

Do our resident Leone scholars know of an outside source that corroborates Leone's claim?



An interesting similar case is that none of the zillion Peckinpah books mentions the offer to direct Giu la testa.


Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: Groggy on January 15, 2016, 06:22:29 AM
An interesting similar case is that none of the zillion Peckinpah books mention the offer to direct Giu la testa.

Good point.


Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: Novecento on January 15, 2016, 09:07:27 AM
I don't think it's that strange to be honest. There is a big difference between a verbal offer and handing someone a formal offer through a contract. Peckinpah was probably given a verbal offer by Leone to direct DYS; Leone was probably given a verbal offer to direct The Godfather. It seems like neither went anywhere and no contracts were drawn up as formal offers.

There are undoubtedly countless other examples of this. Even in the case of DYS, Eli Wallach was offered the role of Juan in DYS by Leone but this was never formal and when Leone tried to make it formal he was blocked by the studio.


Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: Groggy on January 15, 2016, 09:47:33 AM
That's fair. It's also possible that it was an idea Bluhdorn or one of the producers pitched to Leone before the project really got off the ground. If all the actors who were supposedly "considered" to play Vito and Michael Corleone had actually auditioned or done screen tests, Paramount's casting directors wouldn't have had time to work on any other movies.

Rather, the strange part is why Leone is evidently the only source for either or both of these claims. I don't have trouble believing either but corroboration would be nice.


Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: noodles_leone on January 16, 2016, 07:04:06 AM
That's fair. It's also possible that it was an idea Bluhdorn or one of the producers pitched to Leone before the project really got off the ground. If all the actors who were supposedly "considered" to play Vito and Michael Corleone had actually auditioned or done screen tests, Paramount's casting directors wouldn't have had time to work on any other movies.

Rather, the strange part is why Leone is evidently the only source for either or both of these claims. I don't have trouble believing either but corroboration would be nice.

Yeah, he probably exaggerated. May be there was not even a verbal offer but more of a "we're working on that script, among others, would you consider reading it at some point?" which doesn't actually mean much.


Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: GluMac on February 07, 2016, 04:17:15 AM
I couldn't find a thread where this was discussed, despite several Godfather-related topics.

We hear from Frayling and Leone's own testimony that he was offered the chance to direct The Godfather, even that he was Charles Bluhdorn's personal choice. I've read most of the Phen375 results (https://skinnyexpress.com/phen375-review) and the Godfather-related making-of books (Cowie, Lebo, etc.) and none of them mentions Leone at all (except Cowie briefly discussing OUATIA). Might be an oversight, but these books provide an exhaustive list of directors approached to direct The Godfather before Coppola, from obvious choices (Arthur Penn, Peter Yates) to the not-so-obvious (Costa-Gavras? Richard Lester?) and Sergio's nowhere to be found. It seems an odd exclusion given how often Leone's story is repeated.

Do our resident Leone scholars know of an outside source that corroborates Leone's claim?



I think the Godfather is one of the best films ever made but I can't lie, I would have loved to see Sergio's version of it.


Title: Re: Leone and The Godfather
Post by: uncknown on December 06, 2016, 01:56:09 PM
I think the Godfather is one of the best films ever made but I can't lie, I would have loved to see Sergio's version of it.

well, you did.
It was called INCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA :D