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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Paramount Pictures wants "Godfather" prequel whacked, files lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court


Brando as Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (... Paramount Pictures wants an upcoming book sequel to “The Godfather” to sleep with the fishes.
The movie studio filed suit Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court, putting a legal hit on the scheduled July publication of “The Family Corleone.”
The book, based on an unpublished screenplay written by “Godfather” author Mario Puzo, could damage “the integrity and reputation of the Godfather trilogy — one of the most acclaimed and beloved artistic works of the past 50 years,” the lawsuit claimed.

The lawsuit accuses Puzo’s son of copyright infringement, and seeks an injunction to halt the book’s release along with damages.
Paramount says it purchased the “Godfather” copyright from Mario Puzo in 1969. The best-selling author shared two best screenplay Oscars with Francis Ford Coppola for their collaboration on “The Godfather” and “The Godfather II.”
The studio asserts it had an agreement with Puzo's son Anthony to publish a single sequel, "The Godfather Returns," in 2004. Mario Puzo died five years earlier.
A second sequel, "The Godfather's Revenge," was published two years later — but Paramount says that was done without its approval.
Both works were authored by Mark Winegardner, the director of creating writing at Florida State University.
The first was an acclaimed bestseller, but the second fared poorly — generating mediocre reviews and weak sales, the lawsuit charged.
“Far from properly honoring the legacy of ‘The Godfather’ the unauthorized [book\] tarnished it and in the process misled consumers into believing that ‘The Godfather's Revenge’ was authorized by Paramount,” the lawsuit said.
"The Family Corleone" tells the tale of Vito Corelone's rise to power in Depression-era New York — territory covered in “The Godfather II,” with Robert De Niro playing the immigrant boss.
The author is novelist and short-story writer Ed Falco, who oversees the creative writing program at Virginia Tech.


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