Why Earlier Versions of Gotti Biopic Failed

The movie’s neophyte producers are John Gotti Jr. and ex-con Marc Fiore, who once pleaded guilty in a multimillion-dollar pump-and-dump stock scam
From New York magazine's We’re Going to Take Over F---ing Hollywood              Illustration by Ward Sutton

It was announced last September that the John Travolta Gotti biopic, which twice previously had collapsed, was back in production. Gangsters Inc. ran a story on December 3 of last year: Gotti movie starring John Travolta begins shooting in March. The lede reads: 

It’s official: The new Gotti movie Shadow of My Father will begin filming in March of 2016. Director Kevin Connolly shared a photo of the script on social media and the official Twitter page of the film posted the release date along with it.

But that was then. As has happened, now three times, the picture appears to be on hold. It hasn't begun filming. And the New York Post's Page Six reported that John Travolta’s publicist said that Travolta was still in negotiations for the role....

"Once negotiations are finalized, we will have a start date for you," the publicist told Page Six, which noted: "The movie’s neophyte producers are John Gotti Jr. and ex-con Marc Fiore, who once pleaded guilty in a multimillion-dollar pump-and-dump stock scam."

So the question arises did John A. Gotti, aka Junior, deliberately lie to David Amoruso, the Godfather of organized crime blogging? 

Or did Junior honestly not know that Travolta had not yet signed on to star in the film?

This is a complicated story with a cast of characters beyond John Junior Gotti. I don't want to overwhelm my readers so I decided to write this in a series of shorter stories that will be broken up by regular news reports and feature stories. 

Variety broke news of the film in 2010, in Fiore to bring John Gotti Jr. to bigscreen, which was subtitled: Production is slated to start next year, reporting that "the life of John Gotti Jr. and his mobster father will become a feature from New York production company Fiore Films, which is planning a production start next year with $15 million from private investors."

Gotti told Daily Variety, "The story’s about redemption. My father had a hard time accepting that I ultimately didn’t want to follow his path." He added that, despite Hollywood's widespread interest, Gotti said "it was easy to choose Marc Fiore as the producer despite his being a relative unknown in the world of filmmakers."
"I’m most interested in this story getting told accurately, and I think Marc can do that,” he added. “This is not going to be an expose of the mob or a shoot-em-up.”

The question, however, seems to be not which genre the film will fall under but rather will the movie ever actually be filmed, period.

Actor Leo Rossi was reportedly working on the script, which would "focus on the complex relationship between Gotti and his father — the flamboyant head of the Gambino crime family in New York, who spent the last decade of his life in prison before dying of cancer in 2002."

One key scene, the story noted, would be "the son’s last visit to his father to say he was ending his life of crime and getting out of the family business."