As a bona fide movie buff, it pains me to see the drivel that Hollywood churns out nowadays. Every week it's another lamebrained action flick or raunchy teen comedy aimed at the lowest common denominator. And the most infuriating part is that often there is an idea for an amazing film sitting right under Hollywood's nose and they don't even see it. Sometimes I just want to grab Hollywood by the shoulders, shake it, and tell it what a masterpiece it's missing out on.
For instance, can anyone give me one good reason why they haven't made a second Godfather movie?
Think about it. It's a travesty.
First of all, a follow-up to the 1972 epic American classic would have tremendous market potential and franchise capability. This is an Oscar-winning tour de force that made millions and millions of dollars we're talking about here. It should be a no-brainer.
Moreover, the timing is great. Ideally they would have released the sequel within a few years of the original, but a second Godfather film now would coincide perfectly with the current renewed interest in '70s-era cinema. And what better way to pay tribute to the great filmmakers of the Easy Riders, Raging Bulls generation than to reunite legendary director Francis Ford Coppola with innovative cinematographer Gordon Willis and shoot a little slice of celluloid heaven called The Godfather 2?
It wouldn't just be a treat for us die-hard Godfather nuts, either. Audiences would come out in droves to catch up with the Corleones after almost four decades.
Granted, they'd probably have to pare down the family drama a bit. If they packed The Godfather 2 full of backstory it would just confuse all the people who never saw the first film. And, while it might be a challenge to come up with fresh dialogue that doesn't feel dated, there are so many great lines from the original that they practically wouldn't have to. "Don't take his gun, but take the cannoli," and, "Tell Mr. Corleone he sleeps with the fishes." If they brought any of these classic catchphrases back in the sequel, the crowd would stand up and cheer for more.
Just think of all the questions left unanswered at the end of The Godfather! What would happen to Michael? Would he run the family business the way his father did, or would he be more easygoing? And what about Michael's brother Fredo? God, what an amazing character. I could see him taking over the operation one day if Michael ever decided to retire and settle down with Kay. What if the whole Corleone family goes straight and open up a little pasticerria in Greenwich Village—and Michael Jr.'s getting married, so they scramble to get all the preparations done in time for the big day and, in the middle of all the commotion, Clemenza has a heart attack? That could be quite poignant and powerful.
The possibilities are endless. Maybe they fall on hard times and team up with the other families to buy a local baseball team, or they decide it's time to leave New York but they come to realize that all their memories are there, and always will be, and the movie ends with Michael standing under the Brooklyn Bridge: "This is my town. This is home."
Man, I'm getting chills just thinking about it.
They would have to get a new cast, of course. After 36 years it would be ludicrous to use the same actors. Luckily, there's a slew of hungry young talent out there ready to knock The Godfather 2 out of the park. Al Pacino never quite had the chance to milk the role for all it was worth, but I think a brooding, intense actor like Armand Assante could really sink his teeth into it. They could get a Michael Imperioli or a River Phoenix to play Assante's trigger-happy, hotheaded nephew who runs afoul of a rival crime family and winds up turning sides. That could be pretty genius, actually.
Obviously, the one thing Godfather-lovers are going to want to see in G2 is more Don Corleone. Since he died in the first film, the only believable way they could bring him back in the sequel would be in a dream sequence. The great Marlon Brando has passed on, of course, so they'd have to get someone with the same gravitas. Jon Voight, perhaps. Then they could insert a long, ethereal scene right in the middle of the movie where Assante and Voight walk around on a vineyard and just reminisce about all the things that have happened to the family over the years and what a crazy ride it's been.
I can practically smell the Oscars right now.
They really should have thought of this 30 years ago. It's a slam dunk! I'm sure Francis Coppola doesn't want to be known for the rest of his life as that guy who made The Godfather and then disappeared off the face of the earth. How many times do you think he's had people come up to him and ask, "Hey, man, when are you going to make a sequel to The Godfather?" He probably gets it every day. If I were him, I wouldn't make the same mistake Stallone made by only doing one Rocky. I'd start shooting a sequel immediately, and maybe even get my daughter to write the script.
So turn on that green light, Hollywood. It's been decades since America's been entertained by the lives of a fictional mob family, and the time is right. Trust me on this one.
I'm making you an offer you can't refuse.