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Godfather was an accident, says Francis Ford Coppola

Much to the surprise of his fans, the Hollywood film-maker mentioned how he never even intended to make Godfather. In fact, when he did make the third Godfather, he wanted to name it Death of Micheal Corleone.

hollywood Updated: Nov 22, 2014 09:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Francis Ford Coppola

Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola got talking from cinema and wine to making money with journalist Riz Khan at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2014.

Much to the surprise of his fans, Coppola mentioned how he never even intended to make another Godfather. In fact, he said that Godfather itself was an accident. And when he did make the third Godfather he wanted to name it Death of Micheal Corleone.

On glorification of mafia in Godfather, he added, "Godfather was a metaphor for America."

Speaking about the future of cinema, Coppola told how it is about to change dramatically. "All cinema is after all a fusion of technology and art form. When technology changes, art changes too. There will no longer be any distinction between cinema and TV, going forward. Today, all theatres are electronic, no film cans get delivered now. Very soon it will be done with satellite."

"The audience will be the master of the situation; there won't be any Paramount, MGM any more. It will be Netflix, Facebook, in the future."

Answering to a question on the increasing tide of violence and sex in Bollywood, Coppola said he really doesn't mind song and dance because it makes people happy. He added, "I love Bollywood films because I come from a family involved in musicals." However, he added that a balance was definitely needed. There should be films that are more human.

"All artists help people understand and to live in modern and uplifting times. Audience should not patronise films that show human beings at their worse. They should patronise films that show them at their best. I want to see films that are more human."

Speaking about the digitisation of cinema, Coppola said, "All good cinema really is the marriage of acting and writing. And audience can know when it is fake."

Apart from his movies, he also spoke about his other great love, wine. "Wine is helpful. Wine is like music. The more you enjoy it, the more you like it."

There should have been just one Godfather

“The Godfather happened to be far more successful than anyone had imagined,” Coppola told a stunned audience.

The directing legend also revealed he wanted to name the sequel ‘Death of Michael Corleone’ and that it was a challenge adapting a book into a film. “(It was) tricky because the book was not intended to be read in one sitting,” he said.

Coppola, who was fired at the age of 23 for his initial screenplay for a film on the life of a World War-II general, said it was an irony he was given an Oscar for the same movie, Patton (1970).

Even after the huge success of The Godfather, when Coppola wanted to make Apocalypse Now in 1979, he could not find financiers or actors. “It was a pretty horrendous experience,” he rued.

“People’s opinions change over years. And movies change over time… They (now) think Apocalypse Now is a classic!” he said.

On being told there was a Hindi adaptation of his cult classic, Coppola exclaimed: “I didn’t know there was a Bollywood Godfather! Did it have songs?”

First Published: Nov 21, 2014 12:42 IST