Junior Gotti Biopic Moving Forward

UPDATE AT END: Fiore Films, LLC is trying to keep the publicity machine running for its yet-unnamed John Gotti project by reporting that it has signed with ICM to represent the film. What is missing is the meat and potatoes: Who is going to star in the film?

Hopefully, it won't be a re-working of HBO's Gotti, which starred the great Armand Assante (probably the highest-profile mob character actor working today) and was supposedly made with help from Gotti's relatives -- as will Fiore's project.

HBO's Gotti was also based on strong source material, the key to why it is pretty decent: the Jerry Capeci/Gene Mustain book, Gotti: Rise and Fall. However, Junior wasn't even a character in the Assante film, so hopefully we're in for something new -- and something more than a hagrio-pic (a word I think I just invented); in other words, a biopic that turns the character into a saint rather than portraying him realistically. With Junior involved we have to wonder: How honest will he be? The more honest he is, the better the film will be.

As I indicated, there is no word yet on who is playing the Gotti leads, but we know who is not: Sylvester Stallone, who was supposed to be involved in this film somehow, possibly playing Gotti Senior. Turns out he's not; he wanted to make a mob shoot-em-up, while Junior/Fiore are more interested in the father-son angle. (You can probably kiss away millions of dollars, Junior, I hope you salted away a fortune from those Gambino kick ups.) Nick Cassavetes, known more for his acting ability, is supposedly directing, while Leo Rossi, also better known for acting, is writing the script, according to Variety.



Fiore Films, which plays a really annoying Madonna song when you go to the site, so lower your volume, is a young film production business that established operations two years ago and is located in Los Angeles and New Jersey. Fiore Films is owned by Marc Fiore. Fiore Films will produce two more movies in the next three years, West Sixth, a New York City crime story; and MOB $TREET, written by Academy Award nominated actor and writer, Chazz Palminteri, an exposé on the American financial market in the 1990's

From Fiore's website is this synopsis of the Gotti film, untitled so far: At an age when young boys were playing catch with their father, Junior was being groomed to be a mobster by one of the most feared men who ever lived. His father once said that the proudest day of his life is when they "made" his son. This is the true story about a young boy who had to witness and hear things that no child should. Junior had no choice but to do what his father wanted. When John Gotti spoke, people listened, even his son. Oh, boy. Are they expecting another trial in the future?

From Marketwire, on Sys-con Media, the trumped-up press release about ICM:

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Fiore Films, an independent production company, has retained ICM to represent the feature film based on the life of John Gotti Jr. and his relationship with his notorious father.
Fiore Films acquired the rights from John Gotti Jr., the son of the late and infamous mob boss John Gotti, to the story of his life with his father. The deal marks the first time a member of the Gotti family has entered into an agreement to tell their story for a major motion picture. Production is expected to begin in the spring, with a theatrical release slated for mid-2012. The film will be shot entirely in New York.
Fiore Films expects to officially announce the film's director and two lead actors, who will play Gotti and Gotti Jr., in the coming weeks. Mackey/Sandrich has been brought on-board to handle casting and actor-writer Leo Rossi ("Analyze This") has written the screenplay.
The film will reveal the relationship of a father who lived and died by the mob code and a son who, while brought up to lead a life of crime, chose to leave that world behind and redeem himself and the Gotti name. Never before has there been such an inside look at the Gotti family and their world of danger, betrayal and redemption.
John Gotti was head of the Gambino crime family, which in its time was the largest and most powerful crime organization in the country. Known as the "Dapper Don," John Gotti's flamboyant style and outspoken personality made him one of the most famous mobsters of the 20th century and he ruled the underworld until he died from cancer in 2002 while serving a life sentence. In 1988, at the age of 24, Gotti Jr. became a "made man," and was officially inducted into the Mafia, making him the heir-apparent to head the Gambino crime family.
Fiore Films, LLC is a film production company with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Films currently in production or development include "Mob Street," written by Academy Award® nominee Chazz Palminteri, and a feature film based on the life of John Gotti Jr. and his notorious father. More information is available at www.fiorefilmsllc.com.

UPDATE:

Marc Fiore claims that John Travolta is in serious talks to play John Gotti Senior, according to an article on screencrave.com (which was actually working off an Entertainment Weekly story).

"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," Fiore said.

"Fiore also has his eye on James Franco to play the role of John Gotti Jr.(Franco also is scheduled to play Mr. Softee in The Iceman, a film based on Philip Carlo's book about supposed Mafia hitman Richard Kuklinksi; Franco would be portraying one of the Iceman's only friends -- and the one who I think turned him in to the law.)  He says the actor is in early preliminary talks for the part but according to Franco’s reps, they haven’t sent him the script yet."

Travolta and Franco are among the great actors around today. But for some reason, I don't see Franco playing Junior, unless he put on about 60 pounds of solid muscle. Then, maybe.

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