Watch: Robert De Niro’s Sonny Corleone Audition for ‘The Godfather’

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Forty-three years ago this week, The Godfather premiered in New York City. So today, we celebrate Robert De Niro.

What’s that? De Niro wasn’t in the original Godfather? Of course we know that. He didn’t join the series until 1974’s until The Godfather Part II… but not through lack of trying. De Niro auditioned to play Sonny Corleone in the first film, but as history has shown he lost the part to James Caan. Even with the short clip of De Niro auditioning above, it’s hard to imagine anyone else besides Caan playing the role. De Niro also auditioned to play Michael, Carlo, and Paulie, but ended up leaving the project to star in The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, which was originally supposed to star Al Pacino.

De Niro’s performance as the young Vito Corleone in the second film scored him his first Oscar, so it all worked out in the long run, right? Anyway, check out what could have been in the clip above.

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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