Paramount + makes its ‘Offer.’ Will auds refuse it?

Classic movie lovers have been lucky of late, as some new, terrific interviews with Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, and James Caan have hit various outlets, as well as reflections on the 50th anniversary of “The Godfather.” The winner of three Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay for Coppola and Mario Puzo, and Best Actor for Marlon Brando via Sacheen Littlefeather, nominations for Caan, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino as Best Supporting Actor, Coppola for Director, plus recognition for Best Sound, Best Costumes, Best Editing, and Nino Rota for Best Score) was also just re-released in 4K for home viewing. 

If that weren’t enough, now soon Paramount + will offer a chance to go behind-the-scenes with a limited miniseries, chasing the dragon, it seems, of recent Ryan Murphy hits. “The Offer,” written by Michael Tolkin (who made his movies-about-The-Movies bones with “The Player”) with episodes directed by Dexter Fletcher (“Eddie the Eagle,” “Rocketman,” and the shadow director of “Bohemian Rhapsody”), has as its lead not Coppola or the Paramount’s charismatic head of production Robert Evans, or Brando, or even Mario Puzo, but the man who picked up the Best Picture trophy on Oscar night, Albert S. Ruddy. (Notably, Ruddy’s name is nowhere in the credits in “The Godfather Part II,” which also won a Best Picture Oscar two years later, though the producer did go on to create the popular “Cannonball Run” series, the television show “Walker, Texas Ranger,” and win another Oscar for Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby.”)

Ruddy, who turns 92 in just a few days, is played by Miles Teller in “The Offer,” though the original offer went to Armie Hammer. The “Social Network” star backed out when he became embroiled in a series of personal scandals.

Also in the mix is Dan Fogler as Coppola, Matthew Goode as Evans, Patrick Gallo as Puzo, Juno Temple as Ruddy’s then-assistant Bettye McCartt, Burn Gorman as Paramount’s notorious corporate overlord Charlie Bluhdorn, and Giovanni Ribisi as mafioso Joe Colombo. (It’s true that there was some pushback from Italian-Americans when it was announced this mafia picture was being made; how much exaggeration “The Offer” gets into remains to be seen.)

The trailer launched Wednesday and features some really snazzy outfits, but also Fogler delivering the line “a scene about family arguing about sauce” that feels like we’ll be hearing people use as a punchline for a while. 

The 10-episode “The Offer” begins streaming on Paramount + on April 28.

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