If there’s one thing Hollywood loves to make movies about it’s the making of Hollywood movies. The Academy eats that shit up and, as a cinephile, I can’t say I’m jaded against this trend just yet. Ed Wood, Argo (kind of), Shadow of the Vampire, The Disaster Artist, Singin’ in the Rain… the list of hits goes on and on.
Paramount+ has a new title to add to the pile and it’s called The Offer, a miniseries that follows the behind-the-scenes exploits of producer Albert S. Ruddy as The Godfather was developed and shot.
To celebrate the start of production, Paramount+ released the teaser trailer and it’s pretty fun.
First of all, can I just say I really miss the days of the true-blue teaser trailer? I’m not talking about the 20 second teases for an MCU movie that is just a small trailer for the full trailer. I’m talking about those with footage shot exclusively for the teaser, like the above production announcement.
James Cameron made a perfect one for Terminator 2 (which showed a new Terminator being assembled and molded into Arnold Schwarzenegger), and there’s a killer teaser for Face/Off, to name two examples. It’s a lost art so I’m already nostalgic seeing something like the above teaser and that’s before the iconic Godfather music kicks in.
The Offer stars Miles Teller as Albert Ruddy, the embattled producer of The Godfather. Teller replaced Armie Hammer and will be joined by a hell of a cast including Ted Lasso‘s Juno Temple who will play Ruddy’s assistant Bettye McCartt, Dan Fogler as Francis Ford Coppola, Matthew Goode as iconic Hollywood exec Robert Evans and Colin Hanks as Barry Lapidus, another exec during the production.
The Godfather is, rightfully, viewed as a classic today. It was a huge financial hit, made a massive dent in pop culture, and won tons of Oscars, but it was a big gamble at the time. Coppola wasn’t a tested filmmaker, not at this level, and he notoriously spent most of the production of The Godfather inches away from being fired.
Paramount was coming off of a string of stinkers and needed this to work, so they were way more hands-on than they usually would have been. In fact, Evans had apparently talked to Elia Kazan about stepping in to replace Coppola at some point. Luckily Coppola had one giant ace up his sleeve: Marlon Brando.
Brando stuck by his director and threatened to walk off the film if Coppola was sacked and that was just about the best insurance any filmmaker could have.
So there’s all the traditional studio vs filmmaker drama with a liberal sprinkling of “we need this to be a hit” desperation and some real-life mob influence all going on behind the scenes of one of cinema’s most iconic movies. All of which adds up to something that should make a hell of a limited series for Paramount+ if they don’t screw it up.
And it doesn’t sound like they will, at least from what we can tell. The cast is on point, they brought in The Player‘s Michael Tolkin to write most of the episodes, and have a great director in Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle rules and if you haven’t seen it, fix that as soon as you can).
Anything can happen, but this one’s got a solid foundation. And a nifty teaser trailer.
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