The lawyer for the late creator of The Godfather stories says the writer's heirs no longer want Paramount Pictures to make movies based on books they commission.

Lawyer Bertram Fields told a federal judge in the US that Paramount broke a 1969 contract when it went to the publishers of the newest Godfather book and claimed the family did not have rights to publish it.

The Family Corleone was published in May.

A Paramount lawyer said the company was only asserting its rights. The judge hearing the case did not immediately rule.

Mr Fields said Godfather creator Mario Puzo was insistent that he keep publishing rights to future books. He said Paramount paid Puzo between 50,000 US dollars (£31,000) and 75,000 US dollars (£47,000) for rights in a 1969 contract.

He says the author later made millions from subsequent contacts to write screenplays based on the books.