Tribeca's The Godfather Reunion, 45 Years Later - Coppola on the state of cinema: “Nothing can get a green light unless it’s a movie that they can have a whole series of, or a Marvel comic. Risk, Nobody wants the risk.”

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Coppola is correct and knows what he's talking about. Unless it was Oscar bait or the pet project of a safe director the studios like (like Christopher Nolan), there is no way The Godfather could be made in today's cinematic climate. The Coppola of the time would have never have had the chance. Post-Godfather, prestige-Coppola? Maybe.

After winning the Best Picture Oscar two years before that, Francis Ford Coppola decided he would continue Mario Puzo's gangster saga by making a sequel to his 1972 masterpiece "The Godfather." Wise decision. If anything, Part II one upped everything that made the original so great: the dialogue, the shot selection, the violence, the artful resonance. Oh, and it also added one of the greatest actors of all-time in what would be the start of his prime: Robert De Niro. De Niro brought a ferocious intensity to his role in flashbacks as the young, up and coming Don Corleone, roaming the streets of sicily, trying to make them his own property. I also have a theory that this sprawling 222 minute epic was the film that would influence and change Television, yes TV, forever. You can see imprints of Coppola's style in future TV hallmarks The Sopranos, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and, hell, even Breaking Bad. Because of that, and TV's clearly more prescient and cinematic future ahead, it might just turn out to be the most infuential film of all-time.

The cast of this beloved movie ended up reuniting at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend, a cinematic wet dream for anyone that knows the Godfather movies top to bottom like I do. 

Here are a few nfty quotes from the discussion:

Paramount didn't want Pacino :

Once I called [Pacino] after he had tested six times,” Coppola remembered. “His girlfriend came on the phone and I said, ‘I just need Al to come in one more time’ and she said, ‘What are you doing to him? You’re torturing him!’ She yelled at me and berated me.

Most of the cast thought it would bomb. Pacino and Keaton got so depressed they were actually drunk during the wedding sequence:
“The whole thing had a surreal feeling,” he recalled, remembering a night drinking with Keaton, after filming a scene. “We were talking about, ‘Where do we go from here? We’re gone. It’s over. This is the worst film ever made.’ He and Diane Keaton went back to their hotel and hit the sauce. "We got so loaded after that wedding sequence," the actor says, "We were theater actors, and we were not used to film. The whole thing had sort of a surreal feel to it. So we got back and started drinking: 'Where do we go from here, we're done, it's over! This is the worst film ever made!'" He eventually got over it, he admits. As for Keaton, she is still unsure why she was cast. "I heard it was because Francis thought I was eccentric," she says."

This weekend was the first time Coppola saw the film since the year it was released:
“I tend not to see the movies I’ve worked on,” Coppola said, after, for at least some of the time, sitting in the audience. “I forgot a lot … I found it a very emotional experience.

It would never be released in today's current cinematic climate:

Today it wouldn’t get a go-ahead,” he said. “The first Godfather cost $6.5m and the second cost about $11m or $12m. If you convert that, it would take a major studio [to make it], but it would never get through the process of getting an OK."
Nothing can get a green light unless it’s a movie that they can have a whole series of, or a Marvel comic.
Risk,” Coppola said. “Nobody wants the risk.