I wrote a book called THE GODFATHER
Mario Puzo writes to Marlon Brando
On this day in 1970, before Francis Ford Coppola had taken his place in the director’s chair, The Godfather author Mario Puzo scribbled and sent the following letter to Marlon Brando, the one man he was determined to see take on the role of Vito Corleone in the forthcoming movie adaptation of his novel. Although Brando was keen, the studio refused Puzo’s request to cast him, due largely to the actor’s reputation as a live wire with notoriously overbearing demands and a diminishing box office. Then Coppola came on board, filmed Brando in character as the Don, and screened it for the executives at Paramount. They quickly changed their tune.
The Godfather went on to break records and win multiple awards. Brando’s magnificent turn as Vito Corleone netted him an Oscar for Best Actor, which he famously refused.