‘Francis and the Godfather’ has found its Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Evans, Deadline has reported, in Oscar Isaac and Jake Gyllenhaal, for a movie that is shaping up to be something as special as its source material.
Barry Levinson is set to direct. The 78 year-old director is most famous for the critically acclaimed ‘Rain Man,’ but has not stopped working recently directing TV episodes and movies. The script is based off of a Black List screenplay by Andrew Farotte and has been redeveloped by Levinson.
The film itself is based off of the production of the 1972 Mafia classic, ‘The Godfather,’ which famously saw the co-writer and sole director Francis Ford Coppola and producer Robert Evans clash on many occasions. Coppola penned the script with Mario Puzo, while Evans was an integral part in producing this, the sequel and other seventies classics including ‘Chinatown.’ The Jack Nicholson classic that is also seeing a deep dive into the making of that film.
Though there had been tensions throughout their careers, Evans passed away about a year ago, to which Coppola responded by saying, “I remember Bob Evans‘ charm, good looks, enthusiasm, style and sense of humor. He had strong instincts as evidenced by the long list of great films in his career.”
These instincts include allowing Coppola to have a longer theatrical cut of ‘The Godfather,’ but also include clashing on nearly everything in the picture. The casting of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, as the head and heir to the Corleone family, respectively, was a huge point of argument as Brando was seemingly washed-up and Pacino was just a few credits into his career.
However, when everything is said and done the two created a classic that is nearly universally discussed and loved . With Evans’ death in 2019, one would think this ends the book on their tumultuous, yet well-respected relationship. Now it will be put to film.
Isaac and Gyllenhaal’s careers have been on the same trajectory for the last several years. The two are some of the biggest, most sought after and well-respected actors in Hollywood. Their latest performances in ‘Nightcrawler’ and ‘Spider-man Far From Home’ for Gyllenhaal and ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ for Isaac show that both can do either smaller character studies or larger tentpole films.
The idea of seeing them act antagonistically alongside one another will be a welcomed sight to see. Neither a production date nor a release date has been set for the film by FilmNation, who holds the worldwide rights.