'The Offer': Al Pacino was dubbed 'little dwarf' by 'The Godfather' makers who hated him
Al Pacino wasn't the first choice for Paramount Pictures to play Michael Corleone. When it came to casting Michael Corleone in 'The Godfather,' there was a dispute between Paramount Pictures and Francis Ford Coppola. 'The Offer,' which premieres exclusively on Paramount Plus in April, explores the behind-the-scenes story of how 'The Godfather' was made.
The 1972 film 'The Godfather', is widely regarded as one of the greatest American films of all time, but 'The Offer' will focus on the narrative behind its creation. The casting of those iconic characters will be one of the many topics addressed in the limited series. The actors who ended up playing those roles were not the creators' original choice, but they turned out to be fantastic.
When it was first released, 'The Godfather' took the globe by storm. It went on to win Best Picture as well as Best Actor for Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone at the Academy Awards. It's easy to see how all of those elements came together to make a fantastic film in retrospect, but as 'The Offer' will reveal, that wasn't the case when they were putting it all together. There was a quarrel between Paramount Pictures and Francis Ford Coppola when it came to casting Michael Corleone in the film. Ryan O'Neal, Warren Beatty, and Robert Redford were the studio's top choices. Coppola was looking for an undiscovered Italian-American actor.
Al Pacino had starred in only one film 'The Panic In Needle Park' at the time, in which he played a heroin addict. Pacino was called in for several tryouts by Coppola, but the then 31-year-old actor kept forgetting his lines. Pacino was allegedly dubbed "that little dwarf" by producer Robert Evans, who warned Coppola that "a runt will not play the central character. Martin Sheen, David Carradine, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert DeNiro were among the actors Coppola auditioned for Michael. James Caan was urged by the studios to play Michael, but he wasn't Sicilian enough for Coppola. In an interview, Pacino admitted that, "there was a movement not to have me in the part. I didn’t want me in the part.”
Coppola threatened to leave the project if Pacino was not chosen; Evans eventually consented as long as Caan was selected as Sonny. Coppola had second thoughts about the film a few weeks into production. Pacino's portrayal of the character was too timid and soft, he worried. Coppola warned Pacino, "You're not cutting it for me, kid." Pacino was following his Actors Studio instruction by giving himself time to figure out who Michael was as a character. Marlon Brando was aware of Pacino's method acting style. He stepped in for Pacino and encouraged Coppola to keep him.
The restaurant scene in which Michael steals a gun from the restroom and shoots Sollozzo and the crooked cop, McCluskey saved Pacino's job. The scenario is a masterclass in acting. There are no subtitles for Sollozzo and Michael's conversation in Italian. Because the viewer has no idea what the performers are saying, they are forced to concentrate solely on Pacino's eyes, drooping shoulders, and subtle head movements to hide his inner struggle. Michael's transformation from an innocent young man to a violent mafia lord occurs at this point. It's also the point at which Al Pacino goes from "obscure" to movie star.
What can fans look forward to in 'The Offer'?
Over the years, many stories concerning the creation of 'The Godfather' have been told. 'The Offer,' on the other hand, is based on producer Albert S Ruddy's "unique experiences" while working on 'The Godfather.' 'The Godfather's background is so extensive that you could develop a movie that covers all three films in the family tale. 'The Offer,' on the other hand, is concentrating on the original film.
On Thursday, April 28, the first three episodes of 'The Offer' will be accessible to stream on Paramount Plus; the limited series will include a total of ten episodes. Following the three-episode debut on April 28, new episodes of 'The Offer' will air every Thursday for the next seven weeks.