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Francis Ford Coppola Has One Major Regret About The Godfather Franchise

It's hard to imagine that a filmmaker credited with creating arguably one of the greatest films of all time would have any regrets about its legacy. Francis Ford Coppola is a legend in Hollywood and is perhaps best known for "The Godfather" trilogy — one of the most revered film trilogies to date. The first installment in the multigenerational gangster franchise centers around a New York City-based crime family and follows their efforts to maintain power as a son rises up to take over his father's empire. "The Godfather" also boasts an all-star cast, including Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton, and Robert Duvall. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker went on to showcase his directing skills in other critically-acclaimed projects, including "Apocalypse Now" and "The Outsiders."

While "The Godfather" forever altered Coppola's career and cemented him as one of the Hollywood greats, it was far from a perfect road for the director. Notably, he wasn't originally slated to direct "The Godfather." Although an accomplished feature-length filmmaker by the dawn of the 1970s (via IMDb), he had yet to command a project the size of the 1974 film, and the studio was looking for a more accomplished director to helm. But he was eager, and his quote was doable, and the film went on to win nine Oscars (via IMDb).

Even though landing the film was a bit of a miracle for Coppola, he doesn't look back on "The Godfather" or its sequels without a few regrets. He realized later on that his staunch decision about the titling of the trilogy would have a lasting impact decades later.

Coppola regrets The Godfather II's role in the trilogy trend

Francis Ford Coppola recently sat down with GQ (via YouTube) to discuss his most iconic films in-depth, and he offered up some interesting revelations about "The Godfather Part II." He recalls having creative disagreements with Paramount during production, but they eventually said that he "could do anything" he wanted. However, the studio executives weren't so keen on his insistence to add "Part II" to the 1974 film's name."There was more pushback on the title than even the ridiculous amount of money I asked them for, which they didn't seem to care," the celebrated director quipped. 

Apparently, the studio was worried that moviegoers would think the film was "the second half of the movie they had already seen," but Coppola was insistent on his choice. "That was it, I would do it or I wouldn't do it," he said — and the rest is history. 

Future film franchises, like "Star Wars" and "Back to the Future," seemingly took notes from Coppola's innovative idea and ran with it, which the director isn't exactly happy about. "That brought a whole eternity of part twos and part threes and part fours, which if I had known that would happen, I wouldn't have done it," he explained. Sometimes, it's tough to be so influential that the trends you inspired begin to annoy you — but that is probably a very specific concern for someone as venerated as Coppola.