By Brent Lang, Mar 22, 2022 9:49am PT
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 50 years since Francis Ford Coppola’s”The Godfather” made moviegoers an offer they couldn’t refuse.
The film was a sensation when it debuted in March 24, 1972, setting box office records, revitalizing the career of Marlon Brando, launching the likes of Al Pacino, Robert Duvall and James Caan onto the A-list, and scoring an Oscar for Best Picture.
But things could have gone very differently. Coppola, an up-and-coming director tasked with bringing Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel to the screen, was hardly the studio’s first choice for the task (Paramount production chief Robert Evans preferred Costa-Gavras).
And things didn’t improve when cameras started rolling, with Paramount openly flirting with firing the filmmaker at several key points.