Paramount Pictures sues to stop publication of 'Godfather' prequel

The prequel 'The Family Corleone' has been approved by the estate of original author Mario Puzo.

Paramount Pictures claims in its lawsuit that it did not approve a second 'Godfather' sequel titled 'The Godfather's Revenge' by Mark Winegardner.

Paramount Pictures has sued to keep a “Godfather” prequel from being published, despite the fact that the book has been approved by author Mario Puzo’s estate.

Writer Ed Falco, uncle of actress Edie Falco who starred in the HBO Mob drama “The Sopranos,” based his book “The Family Corleone” on a screenplay by Puzo. The book is said to follow Vito Corleone as he struggles to become a powerful Don.

Paramount officially filed its lawsuit against the executor of the Puzo estate, Mario Puzo’s son Anthony. The studio said it holds the copyright to “The Godfather” and that while it gave the go-ahead to the 2004 book “The Godfather Returns” by Mark Winegardner, it did not authorize another book by Winegardner published in 2006 titled “The Godfather’s Revenge.”

“The studio has tremendous respect and admiration for Mario Puzo, whose novel 'The Godfather' was acquired in 1969 and helped spawn one of the most celebrated film trilogies of all time," a Paramount spokesperson said in an interview with TheWrap. “We have an obligation to and will protect our copyright and trademark interests.”

Paramount said that when “The Godfather’s Revenge” was promoted, it was implied the studio had authorized the book, which was untrue. The studio wants damages from “Revenge” and to block the publication of “The Family Corleone.”

Grand Central Publishing planned to release “Corleone” in June.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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