Mafia was the tentative title of an unproduced screenplay written by Mario Puzo in 1968. The film never went in development, but at the end, Puzo wrote the successful crime film The Godfather instead.
Paramount Pictures originally found out about Mario Puzo's The Godfather novel in 1967 when a literary scout for the company contacted the then Paramount Vice President of Production Peter Bart about Puzo's sixty-page unfinished manuscript. Bart believed that Puzo's work was "much beyond a Mafia story" and offered Puzo a $12,500 option for the screenplay work, with an option for additional $80,000 if the finished work were made into a feature film. Despite Mario Puzo's agent telling him to turn down the offer, Puzo was desperate for the money and accepted Paramount's deal. Paramount Pictures' Robert Evans relates that, when he and Puzo met in early 1968, it was he who offered Puzo the $12,500 deal for the 60-page manuscript titled Mafia after Puzo confided Evans that he urgently needed $10,000 to pay off gambling debts.
Notes and references
- Godfather: The Intimate Francis Ford Coppola by Gene D. Phillips