While we’re eagerly anticipating Miles Teller’s appearance in Top Gun: Maverick (it premieres in late May), he has another project that’s arriving even sooner. Teller stars in The Offer, a new TV show from Paramount that chronicles the making of one of the most iconic films ever produced: The Godfather. Teller plays the role of Albert S. Ruddy, who produced the film and eventually won an Oscar for it. But as the trailer shows, the film barely made it through production, and success was by no means guaranteed.
The trailer opens with the Paramount movie studio struggling and desperate for a hit. The studio’s leadership decides to take a gamble and make The Godfather, an adaptation of Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel of the same name, and Paramount exec Robert Evans (played by Matthew Goode) lays it out for Ruddy:
“We’ve been all over town, no one wants to make this movie, so I need you to produce it,” he says. “Now get going.”
Ruddy has his work cut out for him; he hasn’t even read the book.
Things only get more difficult from there. The series dives into the challenges of securing legendary Hollywood actors like Marlon Brando and Al Pacino for the film, filming across two continents, and dealing with intimidation and threats from Mafia bosses in New York, who felt the film would give a negative portrayal of Italian-Americans. (Giovanni Ribisi plays Joe Colombo, head of one of New York’s infamous Five Families.) Even from the trailer alone, it’s clear the project frequently teetered on the brink of falling apart.
“Can one thing go right with this picture?” Ruddy asks at one point.
It also explores the creative process of making the film. Dan Fogler plays acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola, and the show recreates some of the ways that iconic scenes made it into the film. The trailer shows Coppola making pasta, for example, and musing about adding a similar scene to The Godfather.
Of course, we have the benefit of knowing how this story ends: The Godfather not only gets made, but becomes a smash hit upon its release in 1972. It earned 11 Academy Award nominations and three wins, including Best Picture (a thrilling vindication for Ruddy). Looking back on that success, it’s easy to forget how the film almost ended up scrapped. The Offer will remedy that with an in-depth, entertaining Hollywood history lesson.
The Offer will premiere on April 28 on the Paramount+ streaming platform.
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