Paramount still has the right to make more films in one of the most iconic film franchises of all time, according to a federal judge’s ruling in a case between Paramount and the estate of Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Judge Alison Nathan dismissed efforts made by Puzo’s estate to end Paramount’s film rights to the famous mafia novel.
The controversy began earlier this year when Paramount sued the estate after it was revealed that a new book in the Godfather series, The Family Corleone, was to be published. Paramount cited a 1969 deal which they believed gave the studio the right to object and claimed the new novel would “tarnish” the acclaimed Godfather films. They also claimed that there was an agreement allowing only one sequel, which was published in 2004.
The Puzo estate then made a counterclaim asserting breach of contract, arguing that an earlier deal gave book rights exclusively to Puzo, who died in 1999. They sought to cancel the contract giving the studio film rights.
While Judge Nathan dismissed the estate’s attempt to cancel film rights, she did not agree with Paramount’s request to dismiss the breach of contract claims. Therefore, the counterclaim lives on.