One Key Reason The Godfather’s Francis Ford Coppola Crafted Such Iconic Action Sequences, According To The Offer Star Dan Fogler

As one of the most famous films of all time, The Godfather has long been discussed by a plethora of cinephiles, and served as the subject of many written behind-the-scenes accounts and DVD featurettes. But no live-action project has taken the particular viewpoint that Paramount+’s The Offer is giving its subscribers, as it lays out producer Albert S. Ruddy’s version of the obstacle-filled path that was taken that led to the first part of Francis Ford Coppola’s magnum opus’ existence. Playing The Offer’s Coppola is Walking Dead vet and Fantastic Beasts franchise trumpeter Dan Fogler, who is a big fan of the director’s reported impetus for crafting The Godfather’s iconic action sequences. 

When CinemaBlend spoke with The Offer cast members Dan Fogler and Patrick Gallo (who portrays author Mario Puzo), I brought up the streaming drama’s scenes depicting real-world inspirations behind some of The Godfather’s most memorable moments. And Fogler shared his appreciation for Francis Ford Coppola creating cinematic gold born from others’ lack of faith in his talents. In his words:

The story I love - there's so many stories that I love about it. Because they created some of the most iconic action scenes ever, simply because a lot of the producers were like, 'Francis can't do action.' And Francis was like, 'Oh, yeah?' And they had like an action director waiting, just like, licking his chops, waiting for Francis to mess up. And Francis creates the McCluskey/Sollozzo scene, and oh my God. And then, everyone got into the vein. Like, 'What are you talking about? Francis is great with the action.'

Few things serve as better motivation than someone saying “You don’t have what it takes to do this.” So this almost feels like a case where the world at large should be grateful for anybody involved at the time who wouldn’t use “Francis Ford Coppola” and “director of solid action scenes” in the same sentence. For their words paved the way for Al Pacino to kick off his future highlight reel with a particularly brutal pair of murders, as well as setting the course for Michael Corleone’s underworld ascent.

Dan Fogler then brought up The Godfather co-star James Caan, whose character Sonny unforgettably suffered a fate similar to that of the likewise bravado-driven Bonnie and Clyde. As the actor put it:

James Caan was already his buddy, and James is like, 'More squibs. I want more squibs in the tollbooth scene.' So there's like a million squibs on him. [Laughs.] I just love how everybody got into the passion of it. Like, 'We're gonna make the greatest action scene ever.' And they did, man, it's just like one after the other, just these iconic moments because they said, 'Francis can't do that.' And he was just like, 'Oh, yeah? Well, everyone's gonna get involved here. We're gonna make the best action you've ever seen.'

In a world where an entire sub-industry exists for “direct-to-consumer” action flicks that would never see the lights of a proper theater, it’s obviously a different time than the early 1970s when The Godfather was coming together. But I can’t imagine many, if any, of that sub-industry’s releases have the kind of action-oriented backstories as that of the 1973 Best Picture winner, as depicted in The Offer’s first season. 

Certainly, Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece would earn the same kind of consideration even without its noteworthy shootouts and brawls. But as evidenced by Dan Fogler, those sequences are definitely part of the reason we’re still talking about and watching The Godfather to this day. 

We’re also talking about The Godfather due to The Offer itself, which debuted with a three-episode premiere on Paramount+, with new episodes hitting the streaming service every Thursday. While waiting to see Grey’s Anatomy vet Justin Chambers as Marlon Brando, be sure to check out everything else on the way with our 2022 TV premiere schedule!

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.