By Todd Allen
As you may recall people are *ahem* sharply divided on the topic of DC Comics doing a Watchmen prequel. Certainly, Watchmen author Alan Moore doesn’t think it should happen. Over in world of film and prose, the opposite thing is happening: Paramount Pictures is suing to prevent a new Godfather prose sequel and “protect the integrity and reputation of The Godfather trilogy.”
It seems there’s a disagreement whether the original movie deal gave Paramount complete control over the book and potential literary sequels. The Puzo estate already put together two Godfather sequels back in 2004 and 2006, but Paramount was only on board for the first one. From the Bloomberg account of the dispute:
Paramount claimed that, after Puzo’s death in 1999, the company agreed to allow Bertelsmann AG’s Random House unit to publish a single Godfather sequel, “The Godfather Returns,” in 2004. The estate published another novel, “The Godfather’s Revenge,” in 2006 without Paramount’s approval, according to the complaint.
“Far from properly honoring the legacy of ‘The Godfather,’ the unauthorized ‘The Godfather’s Revenge’ tarnished, and in the process, also misled consumers into believing that ‘The Godfather’s Revenge’ was authorized by Paramount,” the movie studio, a unit of New York-based Viacom Inc., said in the complaint.
And on top of that, Paramount doesn’t want that third sequel seeing print.
If Watchmen is yin, than the Godfather has become yang.
It would appear DC and Paramount have differing philosophies on the economic benefits of preserving the reputation of a classic. Well, that or Paramount just wants to get part of the revenue from the new book…
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.