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Paramount and 'Godfather' Author's Estate Going to Court

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood August 30, 2012 at 12:26PM

Don Corleone might not want to be caught dead in a courtroom, but the "Godfather" franchise doesn't look like it'll be so lucky: the son of Mario Puzo, who wrote the original "Godfather" novel, filed papers with a federal court in Manhattan seeking to end Paramount Pictures' rights to produce any future films based on the property...
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The Godfather (novel)

Don Corleone might not want to be caught dead in a courtroom, but the "Godfather" series doesn't look like it'll be so lucky: the son of Mario Puzo, who wrote the original "Godfather" novel, filed papers with a federal court in Manhattan seeking to end Paramount Pictures' rights to produce any future films based on the property.  A hearing in the case is being held today.

Anthony Puzo's lawyers contend that Paramount violated its contract last December when it tried to halt the publication of "The Family Corleone," a prequel to "The Godfather" published in May that was written by Ed Falco and based on an unproduced screenplay by Mario Puzo.  Paramount lawyers sued Mario Puzo's estate, claiming it owned all publishing rights to "Godfather" sequels due to the 1969 purchase of the property from Puzo.

The Puzo estate's lawyers are asking the Manhattan court to hold that the estate owns sequel publishing rights for "The Godfather," and that Paramount can't prevent any future sequels nor claim its has any rights to those books.

This article is related to: Paramount Pictures, Paramount/Vantage/Insurge/CBS, Classics, Books


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.