Oscar Isaac and Jake Gyllenhaal will play Francis Ford Coppola and studio boss Robert Evans in a movie about the difficult making of the 1972 mob classic The Godfather.
The drama will be directed by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Good Morning, Vietnam) and it has the stamp of approval from no less than Coppola himself.
According to Deadline, he said: “Any movie that Barry Levinson makes about anything, will be interesting and worthwhile!”
Levinson said: “Out of the madness of production, and against all odds, a classic film happened.”
The Godfather is regarded as one of Hollywood’s greatest movies, but the new drama will retell how it almost wasn’t made: Coppola was just 31 when he made it and Evans was head of a studio, Paramount Pictures, that was in trouble and didn’t need an expensive flop on its hands.
Added to that, Coppola wanted to take a gamble on casting Marlon Brando to play Don Corleone, but the legendary actor hadn’t had a hit movie in years and wasn’t an easy man to work with. Al Pacino was touted as his son, Michael Corleone, but at the time he was relatively unknown and yet to become the guaranteed drawcard of the mid-70s.
The story will also portray how The Godfather was made in the tense atmosphere of the real mob looking on, uncomfortable with having its inner workings depicted on the big screen. If they’d taken against the production, some of the incidents from Mario Puzo’s novel may have happened for real on set.
The new drama will be based on a script by former Big Brother: USA producer Andrew Farotte, which was then redeveloped by Levinson.
Isaac is best known as Poe Dameron in the recent Star Wars trilogy and will also be seen as Duke Leto Atreides in the Dune reboot in December, while Gyllenhaal has starred in blockbusters such as last year’s Spider-Man: Far from Home and cult hits like 2001’s Donnie Darko.
It’s not yet clear when the movie will start production or when it is scheduled for release.