New Trailer for Gotti Biopic (and Release Date Too)

The long-gestating film about New York mob boss John Gotti, now titled "Gotti," features a new trailer (see below) with clips of John Travolta playing an older Dapper Don, the legendary former boss of the Gambino crime family who died of cancer on June 10, 2002.

John Travolta as John Gotti,
John Travolta as John Gotti, in prison, years after his conviction.

The film is slated to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month and reportedly will be in theaters in June. Directed by Kevin Connolly, the film also stars Travolta's wife Kelly Preston, who plays Gotti's wife, Victoria, and his daughter, Ella Bleu, who plays daughter Angel.

Other cast members, Stacey Keach (as Aniello Dellacroce, it seems, holy fck), Pruitt Taylor Vince (as Angelo Ruggiero, aka Quack Quack), and William DeMeo as Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano.

Gotti will premiere at Cannes, "most likely on May 15" and will be in theaters on June 15.

Pitbull is composing the Gotti score, as per The Hollywood Reporter. This is the Miami rapper's first film score. The Grammy award-winning artist also wrote and performed an original song, titled 'Amore', for the movie's end credits.

He said of his composing credit: "It's a true honour to be involved with this project and working with icon John Travolta on the legendary story of Gotti. By default, we were underdogs in our own right and found ways to survive against all odds."

In September 2015 it was reported that the Gotti biopic, which twice previously collapsed, was back in production.

Variety first broke news of the film in 2010, which was initially to be about the relationship between Gotti and his son, John "Junior" Gotti.

Gotti told the paper, "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.”

In September 2015, Travolta met with buyers and glad-handed the press at a Toronto event during which he discussed how the Gotti project had become a family project.

“My wife looks like Victoria and my daughter looks like Angel. It’s really weird,” Travolta told the press at a recent event in Toronto (Travolta flew himself there in his own plane.)

Connolly, known for his supporting role in HBO's Entourage, also noted the ironic coincidence: “It’s uncanny. I looked at pictures and was thinking this is too perfect. Life is too short not to go to work with your family and friends.”

"It's a small character study of John Jr. and John Sr. that investigates the realness and grittiness of their repoire and the historical events of the Gotti family."

Travolta stuck with the mobster-based biopic for years because of the quality of the story, he said, adding that his excitement has risen based on Connolly joining the project.

"Kevin presented his take to me, which is the vision I've always wanted, and I believe the vision John Jr. wanted," said Travolta. "It's a small character study of John Jr. and John Sr. that investigates the realness and grittiness of their repoire and the historical events of the Gotti family."

The Gotti project has been in and out of turnaround the past few years. Major Hollywood names had been attached to the production, including Lindsay Lohan, Al Pacino, Ben Foster, and Joe Pesci, and directors such as Nick Cassavetes, Barry Levinson, and Joe Johnston.

John Gotti Jr., son of John “Junior” Gotti and grandson of the legendary former Gambino boss, tweeted at Connolly: "I have faith in u, you will be great."

Shaky funding was blamed for whacking previously announced versions of the Gotti film. One major media splash included Gotti family members, though this time around they are keeping a low profile, except on social media.

John Gotti, the son, has since written and published Shadow of My Father, available in Kindle and print format.

The script is said to be "in large part a father-and-son story set in the backdrop of an iconic organized crime family in New York."

The elder Gotti was a New York City tabloid fixture known for his designer suits and strut. 

Typically news photos and footage would capture a smiling Gotti, surrounded by his men. A beaming "Jackie Nose" D'Amico can often be seen opening doors for the Gambino entourage, which usually included a deadly Joe Watts, replete with black pompadour, looming menacingly in the background.

Gotti became boss of the Gambino crime family after organizing the 1985 murder of Paul Castellano and his driver in front of Sparks Steakhouse  in December in midtown Manhattan.

The Gotti regime came crashing down in 1992, with Sammy “The Bull” Gravano eventually flipping and testifying against Gotti, who made numerous incriminating remarks that were caught on bugs planted in the apartment above the Ravenite. Gotti held court there, thinking he was ensconced in a safe place that the Feds would never have known about. Gotti spoke his mind to confederate Frank Locascio, who was known for his silence. Some have even postulated that Gotti may not have spoken at such length if "Frankie Lo" had only responded occasionally.

Gotti was ultimately convicted of five murders, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, illegal gambling, extortion, and loansharking, and was sentenced to life in prison.

Lindsay Lohan was once attached to the film, Joe Pesci was also on board, to play Gotti’s right hand man, Angelo Ruggiero, before he was recast to play Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, and offered less money and sued over it.  Even Sir Anthony Hopkins was reportedly up for an unspecified role.

Paul Castellano,
Gotti script stole from Big Paul....

P.S., John Gotti took everything from Paul Castellano, it's not unfair to say. In this film, ironically enough,  Gotti seems to steal Paul's words too.

As evidenced in the trailer, Gotti (Travolta) speaks a line from this quote:

"This life of ours, this is a wonderful life. If you can get through life like this and get away with it, hey that's great. But it's very unpredictable. There's so many ways you can screw it up. "

Paul Castellano said those words in the Todt Hill White House, which the FBI caught on tape.

It's even online, with other dialog allegedly spoken by the assassinated Gambino boss.

Hopefully the screenplay incorporates some of what Gotti actually said, as the FBI bugged him, too, above the Ravenite.

Lord knows, John Gotti said many, many compelling things, including (the beginning of  the following quote is very well known, though the entire quote isn't)....

I'm not in the mood for the toys, or games, or kidding [UI]. I'm not in the mood for clans. I'm not in the mood for gangs. I'm not in the mood for none of that stuff there. This is gonna be a Cosa Nostra 'til I die. Be it an hour from now, or be it tonight, or a hundred years from now when I'm in jail. It's gonna be a Cosa Nostra. This ain't gonna be a bunch of your friends, they're gonna be friends of ours. But at the same time would be friends of ours, it's gonna be the way I say it's gonna be, [UI] a Cosa Nostra. A Cosa Nostra. You might, because a guy's nice to you, and I'm not talking about you, I'm just sayin' you might [UI] makes him a good guy. It makes him a motherfucker to me. It don't make him a good guy. It makes him a good guy if he's one of us and he proves he's part of us. And I'm the best judge of that, I think, right now. So you got a reason Frank, say it. I love you, say it, but that's not the point. This thing here, I'm not so sure of the five guys that I'm puttin' in are the first five guys that should be going in. What can you do? I'm doing it because I want this thing to be proper. We got some guys that can preserve it and they'll be there forever. They won't be having secret fuckin' parties where people won't be allowed. That we don't want and that we don't need, that's for sure. I wanna see an effort. I gotta see an effort for [UI] a Cosa Nostra. How many of these guys come, come tell me I feel sorry you got trouble. I don't, I don't need that. I ain't got no trouble, I ain't got no trouble. I'm gonna be all right. They got the fuckin' trouble. And I don't mean the cops, I mean the people. The people who coulda made this a joke, you know what I mean. That's not a fuckin' joke [UI] guys. Even, even, even some guys, some people downstairs now who I know whose fucking stomach is rotten. I know whose stomach ain't rotten. You could, I, I could smell it the way a dog senses when a guy's got fear.