De Niro sees 'Shepherd'/'Godfather' link

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. actor/director Robert De Niro says he sees a connection between "The Godfather" organized crime trilogy and his new CIA drama, "The Good Shepherd."

De Niro played young mob boss Vito Corleone in "The Godfather: Part II," which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.


Coppola was initially attached to direct "The Good Shepherd," but plans fell through, clearing the way for De Niro to helm the film about the early days of the Central Intelligence Agency.

"The Good Shepherd" shows how the clandestine U.S. government agency valued loyalty and silence and frequently used violence as a means of achieving its goals -- not unlike the mobsters in "The Godfather" movies, although their motives were entirely different.

"There is a comparison (between 'The Godfather' and 'The Good Shepherd,')" De Niro confirmed in New York.

"I was always concerned that it not have certain direct parallels, but how could it not?" he said. "I mean, one was about that (criminal) secret society and this is about another type of secret society, very Americana."

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