UPDATE: Paramount has responded to the charges leveled by the estate of The Godfather author Mario Puzo. Said a spokesperson: “Paramount has tremendous respect and admiration for Mario Puzo and his legacy. We are only seeking to adhere to the terms of the deal that were agreed upon by Mr. Puzo himself.”
EXCLUSIVE: The Estate of Mario Puzo has fired back in answering and filing a counterclaim that refuted the suit Paramount Pictures filed last month to stop the author’s son from publishing a new sequel novel to his father’s classic Mafia saga of the Corleone clan. Attorney Bert Fields is seeking to refute the studio’s claim that it controls book rights to The Godfather and will try to terminate the studio’s rights for material breach of its contract with Puzo. Anthony Puzo is executor of his father’s estate. To hear Puzo’s attorney tell it, Paramount might have thought it made a smart move, but it was Fredo-smart, because now they are going to the mattresses. “Mario Puzo brought vast wealth to Paramount at a time when they desperately needed it,” said Fields. “Now that he’s gone, Paramount’s trying to deprive his children of the rights he specifically reserved. I promised Mario I’d protect his kids from this kind of reprehensible conduct. Paramount wanted a war, and they’re going to get one — only the stakes will be much higher than they thought.”
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