Fred Roos, ‘Godfather Part II’ producer and ‘Megalopolis’ casting director, dies at 89


Roos and Coppola were a dynamic duo in the film industry for over 50 years. It all began with their work on the iconic movie, The Godfather. Roos played a crucial role in advising on the casting of Al Pacino and James Caan, even though the studio had different ideas. He also introduced Coppola to the talented John Cazale. Together, they produced some of Coppola’s most acclaimed films, including The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, and Parts II and III of The Godfather.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 2004, Coppola praised Roos as “one of the great casting talents.” The stories of Roos’s impact on legendary films like the Godfather trilogy and Star Wars have become the stuff of Hollywood legend. When George Lucas was developing Star Wars, he sought Roos’s thoughts and advice. Roos’s discoveries include notable names like Diane Keaton, Laurence Fishburne, Emilio Estevez, Jennifer Connelly, and Alden Ehrenreich.

Roos described his ability to spot talent as something intangible, a feeling he had about certain individuals. In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, “A lot of people that I’ve been associated with are like that. Jack Nicholson. Harrison. They don’t quite fit any mold.” Roos’s breakthrough in the film industry came with the 1968 movie Petulia, directed by Richard Lester and starring Julie Christie and George C. Scott. After that, work flowed to him effortlessly.

The collaboration between Roos and Coppola extended beyond their professional partnership. Roos also produced Eleanor Coppola’s Emmy-winning documentary, Hearts of Darkness, which delved into the making of Apocalypse Now. He took great pride in helping Eleanor with her 2016 film as well. Throughout their extensive careers, Roos and Coppola left an indelible mark on the world of cinema.

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