Al Pacino has been speaking to an audience at Tribeca Film Festival in New York about how he was constantly on the verge of being fired on The Godfather – which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022 – until Francis Ford Coppola shifted the shooting schedule around and saved him.
The scene that saved Pacino was the one where Michael Corleone commits to the family business by popping another mobster and a crooked cop in a restaurant. “They were going to let me go. Francis said, ‘I want you to know, I believe in you. Francis pushed that scene forward (in the shooting schedule). The studio liked it.”
Tribeca Festival co-founder Robert De Niro introduced Pacino at the event by saying; “I auditioned for The Godfather along with every other actor in New York. And Al of course got the role of Michael. I guess they thought I was too young and too good looking. Ironically, I did play his father in Part II. When I asked him to come to the festival this year I said, ‘It’s Fathers Day. You’ve got to show some respect.’”
The Godfather of course spawned a sequel (and a third movie that we don’t really discuss), with the first two widely considered amongst the best movies of all time. A TV show about the making of The Godfather is currently airing, called The Offer starring Fantastic Beasts’ Dan Fogler as Francis Ford Coppola and Anthony Ippolito as Al Pacino.
Francis Ford Coppola is currently working on his first movie in a decade – Megalopolis starring Adam Driver. Al Pacino was recently seen in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, and his next movie (set to premiere at TIFF 2022) is called Sniff. It’s about a retired detective pulled back in by his former partner to uncover a hidden underworld of sex, drugs and murder (according to IMDb). It also stars Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and Danny DeVito.
If you’re a fan of The Godfather, check out our list of the best drama movies.