While perhaps not being as much of a cinematic stain as many seem to think, The Godfather: Part III is often used as an example of how not to wrap up a seminal trilogy. With the movie set for an edited and restored re-release titled Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone to celebrate the sequel's 30th anniversary, defining director Francis Ford Coppola has been looking back at the legacy of The Godfather, revealing that a fourth movie could still happen somewhere down the line.
"There may well be a 'Godfather IV' and 'V' and 'VI.' I don't own 'The Godfather.'"
So, there is nothing preventing Paramount from continuing the story if they so wish, and while the studio has said in a statement that "there are no imminent plans for another film in the 'Godfather' saga", they added that "given the enduring power of its legacy it remains a possibility if the right story emerges." Which, in this modern cinematic age of sequels, prequels, legacy sequels and nothing being sacred, means it is very likely that eventually someone will make Paramount an offer they can't refuse which will result in the words The Godfather Part 4: Best Served Cold one day lighting up the silver screen.
While discussing the upcoming release of the director's cut of The Godfather: Part III, Francis Ford Coppola said that discussions were had many years ago regarding the making of a potential fourth movie in The Godfather saga. The director even revealed what the movie would have been about, imagining it as continuing the story of Andy García's Vincent Corleone in the present day, while using a similar structure to The Godfather Part II and flitting back and forth between two different time periods in order to show more of the relationship between Vito and Sonny in the 1930s. Sadly, the death of Coppola's co-writer Mario Puzo foreclosed that possibility.
This is not the first time that the director has discussed a fourth Godfather movie. During his DVD commentary for The Godfather Part III, Coppola offered even more details saying that the movie would have found Vincent leading the Corleone family headfirst into the drug trade, while also haunted by the death of Mary, played by Sofia Coppola. Gunning for revenge and seeking out the last of his rivals, the proposed storyline for The Godfather Part IV contains all of the elements you would expect, and with Coppola's The Godfather Part III set for re-release, it is not hard to imagine Paramount eventually bringing the idea to life.
However, should that ever happen, it won't be Coppola behind the camera, with the director saying that he "felt a sense of completion after the first one. I felt the first film had all the story I saw in the book. I felt satisfied that it was summed up," before replying that, should there be more Godfather movies to come, "I won't do 'em. But I'm an old man."
Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will have a limited theatrical release this month followed by a digital and Blu-ray release on December 8, 2020. While we may not be getting a fourth movie just yet (do audiences even want one?), several Godfather themed projects are currently in production, including a drama concerning the making-of movie of The Godfather starring Oscar Isaac as Francis Ford Coppola and Jake Gyllenhaal as producer Robert Evans. This comes to us from The New York Times.