The Godfather, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, is one of the most beloved films of all time. Getting Mario Puzo’s book to the big screen was an arduous, at times dangerous undertaking that almost didn’t happen.
The 10-episode series The Offer (Paramount+ beginning April 28) recounts the difficult task of producing cowriter/director Francis Ford Coppola’s (Dan Fogler) masterpiece. The expansive story, with inexperienced producer Al Ruddy (Miles Teller) at the center, covers everything from Puzo (Patrick Gallo) and Coppola’s struggles adapting the novel to casting and budget problems, studio turmoil, an angry Frank Sinatra and intense interest from organized crime.
The cast is huge and there are a lot of moving parts, but this behind-the-scenes look at how the sausage gets made is funny, fascinating and full of gossip, intrigue and Hollywood shenanigans. There’s plenty of drama as egos clash, but it remains fairly lighthearted and derives a lot of humor from conflict, like when Ruddy demands that a skeptical Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi) read the movie’s script in order to convince the mobster that the final product won’t be anti-Italian (Colombo isn’t much of a reader).
No matter how much (or little) one knows about the making of The Godfather, there is a lot to enjoy here. Matthew Goode, Juno Temple, Colin Hanks, Burn Gorman and Nora Arnezeder costar.