Why Was the Godfather 4 Canceled?

Why did the most loved film of all generations get canceled?

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There is no movie in the history of Hollywood that has ever got as much attention as The Godfather series. Francis Ford Coppola outdid himself with this franchise as cinema lovers go back to this film even to this day to review it. However, after The Godfather 3, the audience expected them to release The Godfather 4. 

But much to the audience’s expectation, this did not happen. So let’s find out the reason for it. 

Why Godfather 4 Didn’t Happen?

The Godfather had been a fan favorite movie with its family crime genre that kept people on the edge. The different timelines, the depiction of violence, the collapse of the American Dream were just some of the aspects that proved to be new in Hollywood. 

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No one expected this movie to find success with normal actors and a director who produced nominal films which flopped at the box office. But it went above and beyond everyone’s expectations and landed 9 Oscar awards, including the Best Picture. 

While Coppola was reluctant to go for the third installment, he did it to get out of the huge debt he was in. His film which cost $26 million crashed and directing The Godfather 3 was the only chance to save him. He was pretty content and satisfied with the ending of Part 2 hence, he didn’t want to go for Part 3. 

Godfather 3 disappointed the audience?

However, after the filming of The Godfather 3 started, Coppola along with Mario Puzo, the scriptwriter, and author of The Godfather series started discussing the next installment. The plot about The Godfather 4 was in their mind and they wanted to work on it if this film worked at the box office. 

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Although many people find the end of The Godfather 3 to be the right point to finish the series, there is a whole other world that wanted a new film. After the huge success of The Godfather 2 which seemed almost like a sequel and the prequel due to its changing timeline, The Godfather 3 disappointed the audience a bit. 

They expected the same sort of storyline but what they got was a man who wanted to legalize the business. A man who dwelled on the sins he had committed in his lifetime. Moreover, the film didn’t perform well and it received an underwhelming response from the audience. 

Unfortunately, due to the untimely death of Mario Puzo in July 1999, the idea of The Godfather 4 dropped. And the audience didn’t get to see the Corleone family once again on the screen. 

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Coppola, after Puzo’s death, did not want to delve into the project. He abandoned it because he didn’t want to extend it anymore. He was quite happy where the film ended as extending it would not have worked at the box office.  

If The Godfather 4 had been made then its plot would have been something like this. The story would have been about Vincent as the head of the Corleone family and the face of the franchise. The flashbacks to the Caroleone family and Robert De Niro’s peak time would have been the real focus.  

They wanted to form The Godfather 4 on a similar pattern to Part 2. Additionally, the timeline link between the past and present would have remained.

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Since it didn’t happen, Coppola in 2020 re-edited some parts of Godfather 3 and released it to the audience. It is now named Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.  

The reason for this re-edit was that Coppola finds a cut in the movie as the most precious thing. It can add or cut some details to change the narrative of the film. Moreover, it can give a new direction and perception to the audience. He wants them to think differently this time but cut a few scenes.