Paramount Pictures and Puzo estate battle over 'Godfather' sequel rights

Paramount Pictures and the Puzo family met in court last week, but no indication was given of when a verdict would be made.

AP
'The Godfather' was produced by Paramount Studios.

The legal troubles between Paramount Pictures and the family of “Godfather” author Mario Puzo continue, with Puzo's family and Paramount Pictures meeting in court late last week.

Paramount, which was behind the “Godfather” movies, sued Mario Puzo’s son Anthony Puzo in an attempt to stop publication of the “Godfather” prequel “The Family Corleone” this winter, despite the fact that “Corleone” had been approved by the Puzo family. The Puzos filed a counterclaim stating that the studio had been given plenty of notice about the publication of the book and requested $10 million in damages.

The book “The Family Corleone” was written by author Ed Falco, uncle of “The Sopranos” actress Edie Falco, and was published in May despite the lawsuit.

Paramount claims that it bought all copyright interests and rights as well as “literary rights” to “The Godfather” from Mario Puzo in 1969, which the studio says would include rights to the “Godfather” characters in other books. Paramount says the Puzo family can only release the book "The Godfather” as well as any adaptations of that original story.

The Puzo family says the original agreement did not include book rights and is now asking the court to affirm that they have the rights to any “Godfather” sequels and that the studio does not have film rights to any possible movie adaptations of sequels.

US District Judge Alison Nathan presided in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, when oral arguments were made, but did not issue a decision on the case or state when a verdict would be made.

Paramount said in a statement that it had “tremendous respect and admiration for Mario Puzo" and that it has “an obligation to and will protect our copyright and trademark interests.”

A lawyer for the Puzo family, Bertram Fields, told Reuters that if a new film adaptation of a “Godfather” sequel became a possibility, the Puzos would be disinclined to work with Paramount on a movie.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Paramount Pictures and Puzo estate battle over 'Godfather' sequel rights
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2012/0904/Paramount-Pictures-and-Puzo-estate-battle-over-Godfather-sequel-rights
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe