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Tuesday, June 22, 1999 Published at 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK


Leo set to take on the Godfather

DiCaprio may play a young Sonny Corleone in The Godfather IV

Hollywood hot property Leonardo DiCaprio could star in a fourth instalment of the legendary Godfather series, according to reports.

Director Francis Ford Coppola and author Mario Puzo are in talks about writing a new script, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Andy Garcia from The Untouchables, who played Vincent Mancini in 1990's The Godfather, Part III, is also said to have agreed to star in the film.

[ image: All Pacino starred as Michael Corleone in the first three films]
All Pacino starred as Michael Corleone in the first three films
DiCaprio is expected to play a young Sonny Corleone in the sequel, the part played by James Caan in the original 1972 classic about a Mafia family.

The plot is rumoured to be similar to that of Godfather II, using flashbacks to tell two different stories set in the past and present.

Rumours of a new Godfather film have been circulating for years but Garcia, a friend of both DiCaprio and Coppola, was reportedly instrumental in bringing the parties together for the project.

Coppola, who has directed the three Corleone family films to date, told the Hollywood Reporter that he had been in talks about the proposal, but would not say how far discussions had gone.

The director had to be coaxed to do past sequels of the original Godfather and this one would be a high risk project for the Paramount Pictures studio.

But with Titanic star DiCaprio on board, the studio might well take the plunge.

[ image: The Godfather was one of the first modern day blockbusters]
The Godfather was one of the first modern day blockbusters
The Godfather was originally dismissed by critics as just another gangster movie but turned out to be one of the first modern day blockbusters, shattering box-office records on its 1972 release.

It also became one of the most acclaimed films in cinema history, winning three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando) and best adapted screenplay (Coppola).

The Godfather Part II went on to win six more Oscars in 1974, an unprecedented achievement and one which Part III in 1990, was unable to follow.

For those in need of a Godfather recap, the story follows the fortunes of a New York Mafia "family", headed by Don Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando in the original film.

Al Pacino plays Vito's son Michael, who takes over the business when his father is critically wounded in a mob hit by rival Mafia family, the Sollozzos.

The second part of the saga tells the story of a young Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro, growing up in Sicily and in 1920s New York.

In a separate storyline the sequel also follows Michael Corleone into the 1960s as he attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.

In the final instalment of the Godfather trilogy, an ageing Don Michael Corleone tries to remove himself from the criminal underworld.

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