Marlon Brando, The Godfather

Paramount Pictures

Where's Luca Brasi when you need him?

Keeping his friends close and his enemies closer, the son of late Godfather author Mario Puzo is suing Paramount Pictures for allegedly screwing the family out of royalties from a 2006 video game based on the Mafia-friendly franchise.

A rep for Paramount declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

The lawsuit, filed June 18 in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Anthony Puzo, claims the studio breached its contract with Puzo's estate by failing to fork over revenue generated from The Godfather: The Game, published and distributed by Electronic Arts.

According to the complaint, Paramount inked a deal with the elder Puzo in 1992—seven years before his death at the age of 78—to give him a cut of the profits from any ancillaries, specifcally audiovisual products that contain elements of the hit series, including dialogue and characters.

"Despite the vast wealth Puzo created for Paramount, it has refused to pay his children their agreed share of the revenue from that audio-visual product," the suit states.

Drawing on the book and its three films, the game allowed players to work their way up from street hood to don and featured the voices of such castmembers as James Caan, Robert Duvall and Abe Vigoda reprising their roles as hotheaded son Sonny Corleone, consiglieri Tom Hagen and traitor Salvatore Tessio, respectively.

The younger Puzo's suit seeks at least $1 million in damages.

UPDATE: Puzo's attorney said Feb. 6, 2009, that the warring families parties had reached a tentative settlement. "We think it's a terrific settlement," said lawyer Bert Fields. "This involved one of the most admired films of all time."

Puzo said that only one more document needed to be signed to make the deal official.

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