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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
New Godfather novel planned
Marlon Brando in The Godfather
The Godfather, starring Marlon Brando, won three Oscars in 1973
A search is on for an author capable of bringing The Godfather back to life, three years after the story's creator died.

Publishers Random House have decided that a sequel to Mario Puzo's smash hit novel, which became an acclaimed film, should be written.


This is a mythic family, these are great characters and the story ought to continue

Jonathan Karp
Random House
They have put out an appeal to literary agents to help find possible candidates.

The Godfather inspired three films despite only appearing in one book, which was first published in 1969.

Puzo, the son of Italian immigrants to the US, died at the age of 78 in 1999.

Jonathan Karp, Puzo's former editor and vice president of publishing firm Random House, said he was looking for a writer to continue the story in an "original, artful and entertaining" way.

"This is a mythic family, these are great characters and the story ought to continue," he told BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme.

Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo also wrote the screenplays for the films
But he is not looking for a Puzo impersonator, he said.

"I have every faith that a new writer will bring his or her imagination to this in an original way.

"We hope that this new writer will bring his or her own genius to taking these characters further, to an interesting place."

Puzo did not have the intricate inside knowledge of the mafia that many people suspected, he added.

Novelist and Puzo expert Andrew Rosenheim told Front Row that the new Godfather author would face a challenge because the public's perception of the mafia had changed.

Gifted

When it was first published, people saw the mafia in a romantic, mysterious light, he said.

"Nowadays, I'd say we almost know too much about the mafia.

"History shows sequels like this don't generally work very well, but there's always the prospect that somebody very gifted will do this."

Puzo's last work, The Family - a power struggle set in 15th Century Italy - was completed by his companion Carol Gino after his death.

But he is best remembered for The Godfather.

Awards

Puzo wrote the screenplays for the three Godfather films with director Francis Ford Coppola, winning two Oscars.

The first film, released three years after the novel, is widely considered the greatest film made to date.

The follow-up became the only sequel to win the Oscar for best picture.

There have already been reports that a film studio is lined up to buy movie rights to the planned novel.

See also:

30 Nov 00 | Entertainment
03 Jul 99 | Americas
22 Sep 02 | Entertainment
11 Jan 02 | Entertainment
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