Paramount and the estate of Mario Puzo have come to an understanding on the release of the long-disputed, Puzo-outlined prequel novel The Family Corleone, after the latter made the studio a mediation offer it couldn't refuse, and other allusions to the movie that will soon follow. After the book detailing Vito Corleone's rise to power in Depression-era New York debuted in bookstores and online last Tuesday, the late author's son revealed that Paramount and the estate had reached a deal "several weeks ago" to put all of its profits in escrow until they can reach an agreement on the publishing rights, and ensure that neither party walks out with just their dick in their hand. It's a fragile accord, and both parties swear on the souls of their grandchildren that they will not be the ones to break the peace they've made.
Of course, representatives for the Puzos remain committed to ensuring that no one ever takes sides with anyone against the family again, ever, by attempting to wrest back the Godfather copyright from Paramount entirely. The Puzos' attorney, Bert Fields, even argues that the current deal only came about because of the way Paramount "extorted" them by threatening to shut down the book's publication entirely, essentially telling them that either their brains or their signature would be on the contract (with apologies for the legalese). But as of right now, it seems likely that every time the Puzos try to get out from Paramount, they'll pull them back in: The studio has filed motions to dismiss all attempts to hand over the Godfather rights as an unfounded, illegal "radical remedy," and reiterated that mining future profits from The Godfather is strictly business, not personal.
So, this is just a temporary truce while the two sides figure out how to split the book's proceeds—but as Paramount's lawyer noted, things could change if the book does well and "there's an attraction to do a movie." Of course, that would only happen if the modern film industry were obsessed with making reboots of established properties based wholly on name recognition. Studio executives and producers don't do that. Do you know how naïve you sound, Michael?
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