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A video game offer you can't refuse

Robert Duvall sits behind Marlon Brando, right, in this image from the 1972 movie "The Godfather." Brando recorded voice-overs for the new game before his death last summer.
Robert Duvall sits behind Marlon Brando, right, in this image from the 1972 movie "The Godfather." Brando recorded voice-overs for the new game before his death last summer.Paramount
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

James Caan and Robert Duvall have joined the late Marlon Brando in providing voice acting and likenesses for Electronic Arts' "The Godfather" video game.

Caan and Duvall, who reprise their respective roles as Sonny Corleone and consigliere Tom Hagen from the film, also were involved in the development of the game and are scheduled to attend its premiere unveiling of the game in New York's Little Italy on Feb. 10.

The video game, which draws inspiration from both Mario Puzo's book and Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 movie, is scheduled for release in the fall.

Before his death last July, Brando granted EA the rights to use his likeness, and he recorded voice-overs that virtually reprised his Academy Award-winning role as the titular Don Vito Corleone. EA also secured the rights to the Grammy-winning music Nino Rota composed for the movie and its soundtrack.

"Authenticity is the key," said David DeMartini, executive producer for the high-profile game title. "James Caan and Robert Duvall were there when the original 'Godfather' movie was filmed, and there is no substitute for that. Along with Marlon Brando, they are some of the most respected actors in Hollywood and bring tremendous star power to 'The Godfather' game."

The game will allow players to create their own mob character and work their way up the criminal chain from petty theft to drive-bys and extortion to control of the Corleone family in a virtual New York spanning 1945-55.

Players will use their powers of loyalty and fear to earn respect through interactions with characters in the world, where intimidation and negotiation are key to success. Decisions made by the player in the game will have lasting consequences, just as it was in the mob underworld featured in "The Godfather" fiction.

"'The Godfather' movies raised the standard for cinematic achievement with their high level of drama and intense storytelling, and in fall 2005 gamers will be able to experience that dangerous ... world of 'The Godfather' for themselves," said DeMartini, who is overseeing development of the game at EA's Redwood Shores, Calif., studio.