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'The Family Corleone': 'Godfather' Prequel By Mario Puzo Set To Become Book

First Posted: 05/05/11 07:41 AM ET Updated: 07/05/11 06:12 AM ET

The Godfather

Perhaps the most acclaimed and notable set of films of the 20th century, "The Godfather" films told the story of the complicated machinations and drama of the Corleone crime family, jumping from Vito's emigration from Italy to the mad, backstabbing scramble by his sons to be his successor. And while the second film gives glimpses of the Don's past life and rise to power, there were many more questions left unanswered about his early years. Or so we thought.

Mario Puzo, who wrote the novel upon which the films were based and helped write the first two screenplays, had another Corleone story in his pocket, it turns out, tracing in more detail Vito's rise through the 1920's and 30's New York mob scene. The tales took shape in a screenplay that went unproduced, and while the original actors are far too old or otherwise unavailable to bring a fourth "Godfather" film -- especially one set before the original -- to screen, Puzo's final Corleone story will be told within the confines of a new novel.

The novel, to be titled "The Family Corleone," will be adapted by author Edward Falco from screenplay to book and released in June, 2012, The New York Times reports. Falco, a professor at Virginia Tech, recently published his own mob-related book, "Saint John of the Five Boroughs." He's also the uncle of former "Sopranos" star Edie Falco.

This isn't the first time "The Godfather" has been revisited; Puzo himself wrote a sequel to his original novel, titled "The Sicilian," that heavily features the Corleone family. Then, in 2004, Mark Winegardner, published "The Godfather Returns," which follows the years immediately after Puzo's first book and coincides somewhat with the second film.

Winegardner in 2006 released "The Godfather's Revenge," which put the crime family squarely involved with the assassination of an allegorical President Kennedy. Both books were critically acclaimed.

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Filed by Jordan Zakarin  |