What did Mario Puzo think of the finished product?

Discussion in 'Misc. Superman Films' started by Catman, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Catman Registered

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    I have always wondered what Puzo thought of the finished product, why he wrote the script, etc etc.

    Does anyone have a link to an article or something? They should have included something like that on the DVD.
     
  2. buggs0268 Registered

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    He wrote it for money. The producers threw a lot of money at him. And any tie in he got money from that. And that is why the bookes released for Superman 1 and 2 where not from the movies. He said if they were, he was contracted to get a lot of money. And it was the same reason why there wasn't a lot of tie ins. I believe he wrote one draft and wanted to get on with his life. They hired him to get the money to make the movie. He, like Brando and Hackman were brought on just so they could get the money from investors. Those movies where not financed by Wanrer's. they were financed by the Salkind's private investors and the final product was bought by Warners for release.
     
  3. PSU442 Guest

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    sometimes i question Puzo as a writer... don't get me wrong, the Godfather 1 & 2 are two of the best films ever made... but from what i've heard, his original superman script was campy and awful. I think Copola had a big hand in what became the Corelone story. What else did Puzo write? Too lazy to imdb him.
     
  4. Catman Registered

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    Everything you just wrote I already know and was even included in the DVD. What I wanna know is what he thought of the film. And what inspiration did he use for the script, etc etc etc. You know what I mean.

    Like for instance, we know Gene Hackman did the movie for money but he eventually ended up satsified with the film and with the role and with Richard Donner.
     
  5. AmazinUncleBen Registered

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    Didn't the DVD say they heavily revised and edited Puzo's version cause it was terrible and excessively long?
     
  6. Brian Braddock R.I.P. '96 Y.N.W.A.

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    Not to mention it had a cameo by Kojak. :eek:

    Ughn. Stop the pain.
     
  7. cryptic name No Limits

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    the first godfather movie is almost an exact translation of the book, which puzo wrote without copola. i think the reason he wrote superman that way is the reason a lot of normally talented writers (like akiva goldsman on B&R) write lousy superhero scripts, they don't take the material seriously and don't think anybody should.
     
  8. Catman Registered

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    Not really. They were referring to the re-writes by the other writes.
     
  9. buggs0268 Registered

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    From an older interview with Donner, Puzo wrote a long treatment, really long, but still just a treament and not a draft. Like I said, Puzo was just onboard as a name to raise the money due to his Academy Award/Godfather status. He basically found the details of Superman, backstory,etc, and wrote a treatment to say he actually did something, collected his money, and left. It was also much more graphic than what eventually came out, with Lex Luthor killing people, etc. The Benton/Newman tratment was the goofy one. That was the one that the original director, who had directed a few of the Roger Moore goofy Bond movies, oversaw. When Donner got hired, it was the Benton/Newman screenplay that he was given, which had all the camp and was too long. That was the one that Donner said if he was going to direct it, he wanted to redo the whole thing. So he and Mankelweitcz looked at the original Puzo treatment, liked a lot of stuff in it, and it's sesrious take as opposed to Benton/Newman's goofy campy script, and wrote their script to be alsmot as serious as the Puzo treatment was. But, Donner said they also had to tame down what Lex did in Puzo's treament as he was basically offing people the way people were getting killed in THE GODFATHER. It was as serious as the Godfather. Donner knew this would be a movie marketed to kids as well as adults, and so that is where campy Lex and otis came about.

    Now, I believe the draft that is credited as the Benton/Newman draft is actually the first Mankelweitcz draft, but due to the rules of the writers guild, had to be credited to Benton/Newman. There is much mention that Benton/Newman got total credit for everything that Mankelweitcz did due to writers guild rules at the time. Hence the Creative Consultant title in the opening titles. My reasons for believeing this:

    1. Mankelweitcz said he came up with the line "This is no fantasy", the first line Jor El says, on the DVD. That line is in that script credited to Benton/Newman.

    2. Donner and Mankelweitcz mention too much camp in specifics from the draft handed to them, which was the Benton/Newman draft that the previous director had worked on and planned to shoot. Both Donner and Mankelweitcz mention specifially a scene where Superman is looking for Lex, sees a bald guy, swoops down to get him, and the bald guy turns around and it is Telley Savalas saying "who loves you baby". That is not in the draft credited to Benton/Newman, and it smacks of the stupid one liners that director previous to Donner had put in the Bond movies that he directed. That is only one campy thing of many campy things in that script, but both Donner and Mankelweitcz have made mention of it repeatedly since Donner first broke his silence on it in the 1980 Starlog interview about it all.

    I believe that Mankelweitcz wrote the first draft, to get a beat on teh story, which due to the writers guild rules, is credited to Benton/Newman. The first draft is always for the writers to find the story and to write whatever they want. But then the producers and the accountants get to it and decide per a figure of formulas how much the film is going to cost, and things are tamed down, changed, or jetisoned to get something that will cost in the budgets range. Then the shooting draft, which is what they decide to shoot after a budget is accepted to what is in the draft. An example of this paring down things from the first draft is Clark building teh Fortress himself. In the first draft, he cuts walls of ice out of the artic with hsi laserbeam eyes, then picks them up and puts them together to make the fortress. They could not do that cheaply in those days, if at all. They maybe could have done it with fored perspective and hanging miniatures, but what I read, and the time they had to do it, I doubt it. It is cheaper for a miniature set of ice spires to rise out of the water building itself.

    I don't believe anything of the Puzo draft, nor the Benton/Newman draft has ever seen the light of day. Puzo's treament is not made the light of day due to contractual reasons, and the Benton/Newman one as if it came out, people wouild know Mankelweitcz wrote it all. The same thing happend with Joss Wheddon and the original script writer for Speed. Joss came in and totally wrote that guys work, and it is pretty much completely different from what his draft was. But, due to writers guild rules, that writer took full credit for everything that Wheddon wrote. Wheddon even is quoted in an interview online talking about it. He even cofrtonted the writer and asked him why he took credit for his stuff, and the guy told him essentially because the Guild rules let him. So when you see the Speed script online, it is credited to the first writer, but that is solely Wheddons script.
     
  10. Catman Registered

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    Interesting. By the way, it's spelled Mankiewicz and the director before Donner was Guy Hamiliton who directed the Bond films, Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and the first two Roger Moore Bond films.
     
  11. buggs0268 Registered

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    yeah I know there are mispellings. I was tired and just typed and knew I was doing misspellings. I also knew guy Hamilton, but I didn't want to take the time to look it up. Thank God Guy Hamilton couldn't shoot in England. If not, we would have had a crappy movie and not STM. He really was the wrong director for the job as much as Lester was the wrong director, as evidence of his solo effort Superman 3
     
  12. thechubbysaint Registered

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    You could't be more wrong. Godfather, the book by Mario Puzo, is better than the book inspired movie. While the movie is great, the book is able to go into more details about secondary characters, so if you love the movies and the characters in them, you get to explore a part of the Corleone world still undiscovered if you only been exposed to the book. Some of the book sequels are not from Puzo though.
     

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