The Godfather needs to return to the silver screen, one last time.
In 1990 the last installment of the Godfather trilogy was released. The Godfather Part III, referred to as an 'epilogue' by director Francis Ford Coppola, was an uneven film with some powerful performances, a confusing storyline, and notable weaknesses. While the Godfather I and II are considered two of the best films in history, the final chapter is only passable as a continuation of the story. But it doesn't have to be that way.
In this age of reboots and remakes, why not reboot the Godfather Part III. While a sequel has not been rebooted per se, the recent Batman v Superman movie was a sequel that was not contiguous with the previous Nolan series. Likewise, the Spiderman franchise was rebooted within a decade of Tobey Maguire dawning the webbed leotard. I propose a new Godfather movie which takes place after GFII, and ignores GFIII. This story would begin a full 44 years after the original sequel which was released in 1974. That film ended in '1960' by story's time. This film would pick up the Corleone tale in the early 2000s.
By ignoring the GFIII story we have several advantages. For starters we can resolve one of the fatal flaws of the 1990 film, no Tom Hagen. Although Robert Duvall was available, the producers were not able to come to terms with the German-Irish consigliere and his character was killed off and replaced with a forgettable corporate attorney played by the ever-tan George Hamilton. Another advantage is the story. Whereas the GFIII story was mired in Vatican scandals and incestuous liaisons between Corleone cousins, the ability to pretend that it never happened allows us to put a proper 'epilogue' on the story of this great and tragic American family.
While he acknowledges that Vincent is the right one to lead the family, he is not willing to give up total control just yet. Blood loyalty and strategy collide as he leads the family through a period of inevitable demise.
Now in his eighties, Tom is released from prison due to poor health, but his greatest contribution to the Corleone family is yet to come.
Although Vincent is a willing fighter, the current climate of international organized crime calls for resources which are beyond warfare. Will he be able to keep the powder dry while the older generation of leadership struggles to come to terms.
Jimmy is involved with a Russian crime syndicate which helped propel him to the governor’s office and faces duel threats of a personal and professional nature as the Russians seeks to control him while the opposition party vows to expose him.
Carrying on the tradition of the non-Sicilian counselor, the Greek-Irish Quinn is loyal to the family but is also prepared to make decisions that may go against blood ties.
As Michael nears the end of his reign, Connie must decide what is best for him and the family.
Ivan will not tolerate weakness or even the semblance of non-compliance as he builds his empire in the US. While his ambition is indomitable it may also be his undoing.
[COLD OPEN - LATE 90s]
Presentation by New Jersey Deputy Attorney General James Montalbano.
“Throughout the 1970s the Corleone family continued to play a large role in the Vegas operations, but as the 1980s began and narcotics were the major player in the organized crime industry, the Corleones slowly began to lose control and left Vegas for New York. Although they were still a major player, competition with international organizations and lack of cooperation with law enforcement and politicians diminished their influence even more. Today what is left of the Corleone family is just a small piece of what they once owned and even that is being sought out by competitors.”
It’s here where we begin our story. In a meeting with Ivan Nikiforov, head of the NY division of a Russian crime family, Michael and Vincent listen to a proposal to absorb the Corleone operation while keeping the majority of the operation in Italian hands while giving directorial control over to Ivan’s family. While the meeting is pleasant, it is clear that if the Corleones do not agree to the takeover, they will be ‘acquired.’ During the meeting, Vincent takes lead but is overruled at a key point by Michael. As the meeting is adjourned it is clear to Ivan that Michael and Vincent are not on the same page.
The meeting is taking place at the Corleone residence in NY where there is a celebration planned for the homecoming of Tom Hagen who has just been released from federal prison on conspiracy charges. Aged and infirm, the old consigliere makes a brief appearance and then is shepherded away by his nurse and Connie.
At the end of Act I we witness the execution a successful plot to murder Vincent Corleone orchestrated by none other than Michael Corleone and Kostas Quinn, Vincent’s consigliere. As Vincent is no longer co-head of the family, the decision is made to sell the remaining family business to Nikiforov as previously discussed with one caveat, Quinn is allowed to stay on as a voting member of the management council. Initially Nikiforov is reluctant to share power but is persuaded by a secretive Greek banker who bankrolls the new Corleone operation. Quinn is the go between with the banker and the Russians and eventually becomes a trusted advisor to Nikiforov.
Meanwhile the remaining Corleones begin to take up residence in New Jersey suburbs where Jimmy Montalbano is the first term governor. Seeking to lead a quiet life of retired mafiaso, Michael is content to lend his influence when called upon but for the most part, he leaves all Corleone family interests in the Russian operation to Quinn.
In a surprise move, Quinn executes the head of a Chinese cartel and his lieutenant at the end of a successful meeting. When he returns to NY he is confronted by Nikiforov who demands to know who gave him the order. When it is revealed that the order came from Russian management at the behest of the Quinn’s banker connection, the Russian chief is somewhat pacified but still leery of the power the new consigliere is acquiring. In an effort to get his hands around the situation, Nikiforov requests a meeting with the Greek. In the meantime, Chinese mob business is keeping the Russian operation growing and the situation appears to be as good as can be expected from the Russian standpoint.
On Christmas day 2002, at a celebration of the Corleones 100 years in America, Tom Hagen suffers a stroke is reported to be near death. At this point we enter a flashback to the late 90s. During the flashback, we find out that deputy attorney general and later governor of NJ Montalbano has been working behind the scenes to secure the release of Tom Hagen from prison. We see meetings between Vincent and Jimmy where the reminisce about growing up in NYC and their shared heritage of out of wedlock births (Vincent being the progeny of Michael’s brother Santino Corleone and Jimmy being born to the girlfriend of a famed NYC financier). As Vincent is the visible leader of the Corleone family he turns the negotiations of the Hagen release to his trusted consigliere, Quinn. At a dinner it is clear that Vincent has complete trust in Quinn and Quinn who until now is portrayed as brash and unpredictable, is shown to be humble and thankful to Vincent.
Current time resumes, and Quinn is waiting for Michael. In a meeting they discuss the family business. It is very matter of factual. They discuss acquisition of the Chinese operation, the growth of the Russian operation, and the desire of Kostas to have a meeting with Michael. Nikiforov also wants to meet the Greek banker. Michael agrees to attend on the condition that Kostas is present as well. Kostas assures him that he ‘wouldn’t miss it for the world.’
Ivan Nikiforov is having dinner with his mother who very elderly. They speak in their native tongue. A phone rings, it’s Quinn. The meeting is set. After he hangs up, he calls his Russian second in command, they speak in Russian without subtitles. The implication is the plan is in motion.
The meeting is set at a swank restaurant at a hotel in New York. At the same hotel there is a political rally for Gov. Montalbano. As the meeting is getting set Nikiforov’s Russian advisor excuses himself to use the restroom. As he enters the room a member of Montalbano’s security detail (now dressed as a janitor rather than a secret service-type agent) bars the door. As the Russian empties his bladder in the stall the camera pans to a man obviously sitting on a toilet without his trousers down. He hears the toilet flush, folds the paper he is reading and reaches back and flushes his own toilet. As the Russian is washing his hands, the man emerges from the stall dressed in full suit, and strangles the Russian with a garrot. As he life leaves his eyes, we see the man doing the garroting is in fact the deceased Vincent Corleone.
Back at the meeting, Quinn is giving his report with Nikiforov by his side, the seat next to him noticeably empty. Nikiforov stops the preceding and demands to know where the Greek banker is. Quinn instructs him that he is delayed but on his way. Nikiforov stands up to leave, now worried that his Russian lieutenant has yet to return, but is shocked to hear a voice. It’s the voice of Tom Hagen.
‘Sorry, I’m late,’ Tom states implausibly as he ambles in the room without any sign of illness. He takes a seat the head of the table. Michael begins, ‘Your family has brought our family together again.’ At this point, Vincent enters the room. Nikiforov in a state of confusion and sadness, quickly regains his composure and turns to Michael, ‘We can work something out’ he says assuredly. After a short pause and shot around the table, Hagen says, ‘Sorry, Ivan no chance.’
Hundred Days, French Cent Jours, in French history, period between March 20, 1815, the date on which Napoleon arrived in Paris after escaping from exile on Elba, and July 8, 1815, the date of the return of Louis XVIII to Paris. The phrase was first used by the prefect of the Seine, comte de Chabrol de Volvic, in his speech welcoming the king.
-The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica