I don’t need to sit here and woo you with the wonders of fan-fiction, I mean I could, but I won’t. All you need to know is that it exists and it’s great. So great, in fact, that one of my favourite things to do after watching a new show, film, or video game, is to find out what the fanfic-writing angels are saying about it.
So here it is, my newest blog featurette, Will it Fic? An exploration into every niche fan-fiction world I can think of, and the ones I can only dream of – starting with mafia masterpiece, The Godfather.
Now, I just want to clarify that I’m not here to mock fan-fiction, or the people that write it. I love fanfic. I genuinely do. There’s nothing better than liking a set of characters so much that you want infinitely more content about them and their adventures (not to mention the sheer quality of some fan pieces). But, that being said, I am constantly baffled, amazed, and near enough blown away by the range of fanfic out there, and I want to explore it all.
The Godfather Trilogy (minus the last one, but I’m including it out of respect) is probably the most loved of the whole mafia sub-genre. It’s been knocking about for a while now, so I expect that puts it into an interesting position fanfic-wise.
From experience, I’ve found the more recent the franchise, the more original and “pure” the writing is; in that, if there is fan fiction on it, it’ll just be about the characters in their world, without much disruption. With The Godfather being considerably dated, and since iconised as the cliché, mafia family set-up, I assume we’ll find a lot of Godfather AUs.
For those unfamiliar, AU stands for Alternative Universe – so a Godfather AU would mean a piece which takes other characters, from other fandoms, and puts them into the Godfather format/situation. Which, to be honest, is a great idea because wow, who doesn’t love a bit of family drama.
Anyway, I went into this as blind as you are. I had no idea what the answer to Will The Godfather Fic? would be, but here’s what I found.
I started (as all good stories do) with a tentative search into the Tumblr tag, ‘Godfather fanfic’. I got nothing. All variants of that phrase, found me nothing. I can’t say I’m that surprised.
My search for ‘Godfather AU’, however, was slightly more rewarding (just as I anticipated). There were a fair few posts that used ‘Godfather’ as synonymous with the more general ‘Mafia AU’, which I can’t blame them for, and the notable fandoms were The Flash, Once Upon A Time, and Supernatural. Again, no surprises there.
But, and it’s a great big brilliant but, it did lead me to discover an entire tumblr blog dedicated to an Alternative Godfather Universe in which Michael Corleone’s first wife, Apollonia, never died (I don’t want to link it here, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find it easily enough if you feel the need to show some support). There’s not much on it, but there’s enough mini-pieces of fan-fiction for me to take this as a victory. It’s something I never thought about, considering she’s offed in the first film, but it is something which would drastically effect the trilogy’s narrative. Kudos. Vive le Apollonia fandom.
Moving forward, I was still thirsty for that sweet sweet Godfather fic-content that we deserve, so I headed onto fanfiction.net and I was not let down. 138. 138 solely, none AU, Godfather fanfics. Some of them were even posted as recently as July 17th, this year. We really hit the jackpot here.
Now, obviously, I can’t read them all, but after a quick breeze through the bios I can report that most of the focus is on Michael Corleone (with a dashing of Tom and Sonny angst in between). Michael with a new, original to the author, wife/child/granddaughter seems to be the most popular theme. Nothing too unusual there – young Al Pacino can be all kinds of inspiring. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, and you want a lot of it, it seems fanfiction.net is more than happy to supply.
AO3 (archiveofourown.org) was just as exciting, but for different reasons. Just searching ‘The Godfather’ brought up a huge 1500+ results, but after refining my search to only include fics which were specifically about the Godfather (book and films), thus clearing out all crossover AUs, I got handed a sure, but minuscule, seven pieces.
There, nestled amongst a Michael/OC (original character) story, a connie/sonny incestuous abomination (there’s always one that ruins the party, isn’t there?), and a variety of Michael/Tom and Sonny/Tom smut-fics, was the niche fanfic gold that really completed my hunt: a 16,000 word fan-fiction about Michael Corleone falling in love with his bodyguard, Al Neri.
Who is Al Neri? I have no idea, but wikipedia told me he’s the dedicated bodyguard/friend to Michael in all three films AND the book. Amazing. That’s prime fan-fiction real-estate, and I am so glad someone has thought to explore it. I don’t think Al even has a speaking role in any of the films, but here he is; the fleshed-out, protective, and absolutely un-expected lover of our young Michael Corleone.
It’s well written, and seems to be an unbelievably in depth look into both of the characters. I have nothing but genuine compliments for the author. It’s the mafia version of The Bodyguard that we never knew we needed, but now have. God bless the internet.
It was a journey, and the finds were by no means as fruitful as they are in some fandoms, but I think I can safely say that yes, The Godfather will Fic. It may be niche, but it’s not niche enough. People are still writing about the Corleones – and I don’t really blame them for it.
After a book, three movies, and such a wildly complex range of relationships and characters to explore, it’s not that surprising that people are still finding things to write about. I’m actually quite relieved; if anything deserves some fan-fiction attention, it’s the severe failings of Michael Corleone’s love life.
Thank-you writers, and thank-you Al Neri for apparently being the perfect man for our treasured Don.
I’m going to finish each Will it Fic with a featured story, so, if you want to read babyrubysoho’s masterpiece of unrequited love, here you go.