Joe Johnston Now Directing John Travolta in Gestating 'Gotti' Biopic
About a year and a half ago, a developing biopic about Gambino crime family head John Gotti Sr. was developing with John Travolta playing the mob mastermind nicknamed the "Dapper Don." Nick Cassavetes was once directing, but ended up being replaced with Barry Levinson, and names like Al Pacino, Ben Foster, Chazz Palminteri and even Lindsay Lohan (who later fell away) were circling roles. But the film hit a wall when financing fell through in October of 2011, and the film was dead in the water. Now THR reports the project is back with Travolta still attached and Joe Johnston in the director's chair. Read on!
The film has been called Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father and Gotti: Three Generations, but now has been simplified to just Gotti with producer Marc Fiore still involved along with Radar Pictures' Ted Field and Relativity Media handling U.S. distribution. Last we heard, the film followed three generations of the Gotti family with an emphasis on the relationship between Gotti Sr. and his son, who chooses to turn his back on the mob code he grew up around. Regarding his inheritance of the project, Johnston says:
"I think we’ve always been fascinated with the idea of the romantic outlaw. John Gotti could be in one instance a charismatic, kind and loving family man, and in another, deadly to his enemies. The opportunity to tell the true story of Gotti with John Travolta is a director’s dream.”
Travolta has long wanted to make this film a reality, and it sounds like his patience has paid off. The actor says, "I'm looking forward to portraying John Gotti -- it's been a long time coming. And I think that Johnson is an exciting and fresh addition to the vision of the film. We are all looking forward to starting production." Maybe Johnston and Travolta's work together can result in an awards worthy drama, even after the debacle the film went through before. It's an interesting choice for Johnston coming off Captain America: The First Avenger and The Wolfman before that. But will any of the previously announced talent get rounded back up, or will a whole new cast be put together? Stay tuned.