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HBO’s ‘Francis & the Godfather’ Movie to Go Behind Scenes of the Mafia Classic


Francis Ford Coppola was a pretty intense dude during the ’70s. He damn near lost his mind while shooting Apocalypse Now in the jungles of Southeast Asia, a quagmire duly chronicled in the documentary Hearts of Darkness. While shooting The Godfather Part II on location in Trieste, Coppola told Italian journalists, “To some extent, I have become Michael.” He’s a larger-than-life character, and it’s only fitting that he’ll now be dramatized himself.

Variety has the exclusive today that HBO has begun development on Francis & the Godfather, a scripted project that details the goings-on behind the scenes of the 1972 Mafia classic. The film’s narrative has plenty of intrigue to go around, from Coppola’s early conception of the film to the process of casting stars Al Pacino and an aging Marlon Brando. Coppola famously consulted with actual figures in the organized crime world to nail the little bits of verisimilitude in the film, and that‘s sure to pop up in the film as well.

This means that the search is now on for actors who can deliver serviceable impressions of Coppola, Pacino, Brando, and presumably the rest of the film’s cast. (That is, unless they use the creepy digital-performance technology from Listen to Me Marlon.) HBO‘s dogged commitment to the TV-cinema of famous people impersonating other famous people worked like gangbusters for them in 2016, with Confirmation and All the Way both snapping up Emmy nominations for their stars and Best TV Movie nods as well. There’s no reason this shouldn’t work out just as well for them.

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