After an extensive legal battle, Paramount have reached an agreement with the estate of Mario Puzo to allow the release of Godfather prequel novel, The Family Corleone, chronicling Don Vito Corleone’s rise to power in New York at the height of the Great Depression. The agreement only represents a small agreement in a larger battle between the two sides over who owns the publication copyright on any additional sequels in the acclaimed series. Any money made by the novel will be held aside by a third party until the case has been settled.
Paramount’s main interest in allowing the book to go ahead is to gauge how strong interest might be in a prospective movie, at least according to the studio’s lawyer. The legal battle doesn’t cover the series’ cinematic rights, so a fourth entry is a disturbing real possibility to break your heart if Paramount decides to go ahead. The acrimonious terms on which the case is being conducted might make the studio hesitate for fear of inflaming the situation however, as the Puzo Estate lawyer has already accused them of forcing this deal through ‘extortion’. In other words, it was an offer they couldn’t refuse, thus giving internet writers everywhere the opportunity to indulge the easiest joke in journalistic history.[via The AV Club]