The beef between Puzo's estate and Paramount began last month when the film studio sued Puzo's son, Anthony Puzo, to stop the 2006 Godfather sequel -- The Godfather's Revenge -- from being published because the studio did not authorize it under an agreement, Business Week reported.
Far from properly honoring the legacy of 'The Godfather,' the unauthorized 'The Godfather's Revenge' tarnished it, and in the process, also misled consumers into believing that 'The Godfather's Revenge' was authorized by Paramount, or otherwise affiliated with or connected to 'The Godfather' and Paramount's 'Godfather' franchise, the Paramount lawsuit says, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Puzo is claiming the studio is breaching a 1969 copyright agreement against his father and filed a $10 million countersuit yesterday in Manhattan federal court.
Mario Puzo brought vast wealth to Paramount at a time when they desperately needed it,said the attorney for Puzo's estate, Bert Fields, according to Variety. Now that he's gone, Paramount's trying to deprive his children of the rights he specifically reserved. I promised Mario I'd protect his kids from this kind of reprehensible conduct. Paramount wanted a war, and they're going to get one -- only the stakes will be much higher than they thought.
A Paramount spokesman suggested their lawsuit is, like the memorable quote from The Godfather, business, not personal.
Paramount has tremendous respect and admiration for Mario Puzo and his legacy, a spokesman said. We are only seeking to adhere to the terms of the deal that were agreed upon by Mr. Puzo himself.