Grand Central Publishing is planning the publication of a prequel to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. The Family Corleone by Ed Falco is based on an unproduced screenplay by Puzo, and is slated for publication in June 2012.

Set in New York in 1933, the story takes place before the Corleones’ rise to power and tells the history of how Vito Corleone fought to survive in the brutal criminal underworld to become the influential and respected Don in The Godfather. Jamie Raab, executive v-p and publisher of Grand Central, said the novel “both honors the original, and stands on its own as a Godfather novel for a new generation of readers.”

Falco has written four story collections, three novels, and several plays, in addition to poems, essays, and book reviews. He has won an NEA fiction fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and the Emily Clark Balch Prize in Fiction, and directs Virginia Tech’s MFA program in creative writing.

Grand Central acquired North American rights, negotiating with Neil Olson at Donadio and Olson Literary Agency.