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John Travolta in talks to play John Gotti, the man who talked too much

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
January 26th, 2011

Perhaps John Travolta is ready for round 3 in his career of peaks and valleys on the silver screen. It has been claimed by Marc Fiore, executive producer of the future John Gotti biopic, that John Travolta is in serious talks to play the eponymous "Teflon Don" himself, John Gotti.

Fiore also mentioned that he is in "very preliminary" talks with James Franco to play Gotti's son, John. Most news articles have said Travolta would play the crime boss and Franco would play his son, but they list the two parts as John Sr. and John Jr. However, John Gotti the crime boss was actually John Gotti Jr. and his son is John Gotti III, but popular media has taken over and John Jr. has become commonly referred to as John Sr., while John III has become John Jr. Did you follow all of that?

Nick Cassavettes’ name has been attached to the project as the film’s likely director, which has not been confirmed but seems close to completion. Cassavettes, son of the great John Cassavettes, has a directorial filmography that includes the films JOHN Q., ALPHA DOG, and THE NOTEBOOK.

When it came to Travolta, Fiore remarked, “We would love to have him...He’s a terrific actor. John Gotti, Sr. — he’s an icon. And so is Travolta … The Gottis have an image already. People know who they are. You can’t just be a good actor, you have to be a great actor who can become John Gotti.”

Gotti took over as head of the Gambino crime family in 1985 and later ran the family from prison until his death in 2002. Nicknamed the "Teflon Don" due to his ability to slip out of convictions, Gotti was sentenced to life imprisonment after being caught talking about murders on surveillance tapes. Incriminating testimony was also supplied by his underboss, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, after Gravano became furious about some of the things Gotti said about him on the tapes.

Fiore did not shy away from creating a grand vision when he proclaimed that the film would be "the new GODFATHER. It’s a story about a father and a son, but the father happens to be John Gotti Sr.” It helps that the entire Gotti family has signed on to be consultants.

Travolta's career started off with such hits as the television show Welcome Back, Kotter, and the films SATURDAY NIGHT FEAVER and GREASE. Then his career went into a tailspin of mechanical bulls and talking babies (though he did do the outstanding BLOW OUT. If you have not seen it, run, do not walk) before 1994's PULP FICTION brought him a career renaissance that lasted him through the decade. However, since 2000, he has appeared in such duds as BATTLEFIELD EARTH, OLD DOGS, WILD HOGS, SWORDFISH, and THE PUNISHER. If PULP FICTION taught him something, perhaps that something is if your career fizzles, go gangster.

Sources: Slash Film, Inside Movies

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