Nicolas Cage has admitted he asked his uncle Francis Ford Coppola to put him in The Godfather 3. Cage, who openly admits to being embarrassed by his attempted nepotism, even suggested to Coppola which character he should play, but unfortunately, his uncle didn’t cast him.
Cage admitted he attempted to take advantage of his familial connections during The Hollywood Reporter’s Actor Roundtable with Andrew Garfield, Jonathan Majors, Simon Rex, and Peter Dinklage. During their chat, the group were asked what movie they’d make if they were given a blank cheque to do anything. Cage admitted he’d already had the opportunity but missed out on it.
“This is a very embarrassing answer to your question, OK, because it involves family,” Cage explained. “So Uncle [Francis Ford Coppola] was doing Godfather 3, and I said, ‘I really think I ought to be in your movie, Uncle. I really think it’s a good idea if you would cast me. I think I could play this part.’ He was going to cast Andy Garcia, and I said, ‘But I just see myself more as James Caan’s son, and he’s playing Sonny’s son. He’s not playing Michael’s son. He’s Sonny’s son. I just feel a little more James Caan.’ It just wasn’t going to happen. Nope, not going to happen. So that was a movie I didn’t get let in that I really wanted to be in.”
Considering the reception to The Godfather 3, it’s probably for the best Cage wasn’t in it. While the drama movie certainly has its fans it’s never really mentioned in the same breath as its prequel films which are widely considered two of the best movies ever made.
Coppola eventually recut the film in 2020, giving it his preferred title, ‘Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone’ While the film was better received than the first cut, it still had its critics who claimed the edit added little beyond trying to frame the third film as a mere coda to the first two, essentially exorcising it as unessential to the first two masterworks.