Paramount and 'Godfather' author heirs clash in NY

Family looking for offer they can't refuse

Headline Goes Here Paramount Pictures

"The Godfather Part III" (released December 14, 1990) Time between: 16 years, two days

NEW YORK - The dispute over the future of "The Godfather" franchise moves to federal court in New York as Paramount Pictures and heirs of the story's author face off at a hearing Thursday.

The son of "The Godfather" creator Mario Puzo wants a judge to end Paramount's rights to make future "Godfather" films. Lawyers for Anthony Puzo say the company breached its contract when it tried in December to stop publication of "The Family Corleone," a "Godfather" sequel.

Paramount sued the late author's estate in March, seeking a declaration that it automatically owned book publishing rights in any book that was a sequel to "The Godfather."

Paramount says that in 1969, it purchased all "literary" rights from Puzo to use his characters in "other works." Mario Puzo died in 1999.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.