Francis Ford Coppola holds his award during the Lumiere Award ceremony of the 11th Lumiere Festival. File/AFP
Gulf Today Report
Personal tragedy can make some people regret things they wished they had done -- or not. Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola says he wishes he never made the film Gardens of Stone, as his son died during production.
Coppola’s late son, Gian Carlo, worked as a camera operator on Gardens of Stone in 1986. He died aged 22 in a boating accident while on a break from shooting with his friend Griffin O’Neal (son of Ryan O’Neal), who had an acting part in the film.
O’Neal, who was driving the boat at the time, stepped down from his role in Gardens of Stone following the incident.
Reflecting on his career in an interview with Vulture, Coppola said: “There’s one movie I wouldn’t have made because it cost me everything, and that was one of the movies I made at a time when I had to make a movie every year to just keep my house and my household together."
“I fantasise having not made “Gardens of Stone.” I wouldn’t have lost my son.”
In an earlier development, Francis Ford Coppola, known as the legendary director of the classic Godfather series, seems to have had enough of it.
He decided to re-edit “The Godfather III,” because he could not tolerate the flak his daughter and now-fellow filmmaker Sofia Coppola was facing.
Sofia stepped in as a last-minute replacement for the character of Mary Corleone, Michael’s daughter, after Winona Ryder quit the production.
The then-18-year-old was torn apart by critics, who accused her of an “amateurish” performance.
“Life is a great screenwriter,” Coppola told The Guardian. "My daughter, Sofia, got such awful, unjust criticism for her performance in “The Godfather Part III”. She was 18 and was being told she’d ruined her father’s film."
“It was a deep wound for the poor kid. They were gunning for me, but she took the bullets. Now she is a more famous movie director than me. She got the last laugh!”
He said of being “done” with the franchise: “There is more that [screenwriter] Mario Puzo wrote that we never used. But I don’t own “The Godfather,” Paramount owns “The Godfather,” and they may well decide to make more films. I feel that I’ve made my trilogy. I have other fish to fry.”
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