'Godfather' Prequel Causes Clash Between Paramount and Author's Estate
Paramount Fights Estate of Godather Author Mario Puzo Over Prequel Rights
Apparently there are some offers you can refuse.
The stakes are getting raised in a battle over big bucks between Paramount Pictures and the estate of the late Godfather author Mario Puzo. The Corleone Family, a prequel to the landmark mafia novel, was released this week, despite the studio's lawsuit to stop it.
Proceeds from the book will be put in escrow, according to Puzo’s son.
Paramount claims the sequel was not authorized. Puzo countersued in March, contending that Paramount disregarded contractual promises to his father and breached a 1969 agreement.
"It's a question of fact, of how much importance it was to Puzo to reserve publishing rights," Bertram Fields, a lawyer for the writer's son, told U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan on Friday. "We're seeking cancellation of the contract."
Paramount maintains that after Mario Puzo died in 1999, the company agreed to allow Bertelsmann AG's Random House to publish one sequel, The Godfather Returns in 2004. The estate published another novel, The Godfather's Revenge, in 2006 without Paramount's approval, according to the the studio.