Travolta's Gotti Biopic Started Filming -- in Cincinnati

Filming for The Life and Death of John Gotti, starring John Travolta, reportedly started this month, with the first scene shot on Stone Barn Road in Indian Hill, Fox19 reported.

Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, plays Gotti's wife in the film. Kevin Connolly, who portrays manager Eric Murphy on Entourage, is directing the film, which has been on and off for years. 
John Travolta as John Gotti.

As for the surprise filming in Ohio, the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission has stated that filmmakers are taking advantage of Ohio's revised motion picture tax credit, which reimburses filmmakers for certain expenses.

Recently Ohio doubled the yearly cap for the tax incentive program, which reimburses out-of-state movie producers for payroll and other expenses, with a $40 million cap.

Local news websites have reported:

Anyone interested in being an extra on "The Life and Death of John Gotti" should send a head shot and contact information to Producers are also looking for looking for vehicles from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s for the movie, especially Buicks, Lincolns and Cadillacs. Anyone with a vehicle matching that description is asked to email

Travolta was seen in the Cleveland area since July. He attended a Reds game at the Great American Ball Park with his wife. He also was seen at Peppe Ramondo Menswear & Black Tie store in West Price Hill, which made the Gotti clothing Travolta wears in the film.

Travolta was seen for the first time "in character" on July 26th, wearing "a grey wig with black roots along with a charcoal suit jacket over black pants and a mock turtleneck," the Daily Mail reported.

Showbiz411's Roger Friedman has been following the Gotti biopic for years.

"Since Scientology is a lot like the Mafia, I guess all this makes sense: Ella Bleu Travolta is playing John Gotti’s eldest daughter, Angel, in the not very promising movie being shot now in Cincinnati, Ohio," he recently wrote in a story titled: John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s Daughter Ella Joining the Mob as John Gotti’s Oldest Kid.

The “Gotti” movie looks horrible, but you never know. Stacy Keach, a serious actor, is in it. The cast is largely a budget group, with Pruitt Taylor Vince the only other vaguely recognizable name. John Gotti Jr. is played by relative newcomer Spencer Lofranco. The movie also has a whopping 24 producer credits. The Academy only lets three producers on stage to win an Oscar, but that probably won’t be an issue here.
Anyway, it’s always fun to read the history of this movie. Connolly will be fine no matter what happens. The worst that happens, this is his “Glitter.”

It was announced last September that the John Travolta Gotti biopic, which twice previously had collapsed, was back in production.
Amid a news report that the film had been put on hold, once again, Page Six reported:

"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..."

Variety first 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."

John A. 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.”

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."

But as the film reportedly focuses on John Gotti, and not the father-son dynamic, it remains to be seen what will make it into the final project.

This blog has covered this film for many years.