The Godfather Without Brando?: Coppola Explains How It Almost Happened

It’s hard to imag­ine The God­fa­ther, the icon­ic 1972 film, with­out Mar­lon Bran­do. But that’s almost how it turned out.

Dur­ing cast­ing, Para­mount exec­u­tives orig­i­nal­ly pushed for Lau­rence Olivi­er. But when he could­n’t take the film, and when the direc­tor, Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la, asked them to con­sid­er Bran­do, they ini­tial­ly respond­ed: “Mar­lon Bran­do will nev­er appear in this motion pic­ture.” Above, Cop­po­la and co-star James Caan explain how the execs were even­tu­al­ly cajoled into chang­ing their minds, and how the clas­sic film fell into place. As you watch this, also keep in mind that Para­mount ini­tial­ly asked two oth­er direc­tors (Ser­gio Leone and then Peter Bog­danovich) to make The God­fa­ther before approach­ing Cop­po­la, plus they lat­er want­ed Robert Red­ford or Ryan O’Neal to play Michael Cor­leone. But Cop­po­la, who threat­ened to quit the pro­duc­tion, got his way and put the rel­a­tive­ly unknown Al Paci­no into the film. The rest, as they say, is his­to­ry.…

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, etc.

Bruce Lee Audi­tions for The Green Hor­net

Kurt Rus­sell Audi­tions for Star Wars

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.