The news made some minor waves among gangster buffs when earlier this year it was revealed that John Gotti Jr. was going to spill details about his life with his father, the notorious John Gotti Sr. (head of the Gambino crime family) for feature film, documentary and book projects. And it looks like the feature film is going to be the first one out of the gate.
Nick Cassavetes (“The Notebook,” “John Q“) is in talks for the gestating biopic that is currently set up at Fiore Films. And we can see why anybody would be attracted the material. Gotti Sr. rose up through the ranks of the Gambino crime family becoming a made man in 1988, and eventually passed the torch of the family business on to his son. However, Gotti Jr. proclaims he’s done with the life (he was tried and never convicted in four separate cases of racketeering between 2004 and 2009) and believes that a feature film will help him move on. It’s also a pretty convenient way to rewrite your family history.
We have pretty grave reservations about the project. Firstly, Fiore Films — at least judging from their abysmal website which desperately plays Madonna‘s “Hollywood” when you land on the page — seems like a rinky dink operation whose only produced title to date is a straight-to-DVD National Lampoon’s comedy, “One, Two, Many.” It’s curious that a name like Gotti didn’t raise the interest of any larger studio bigwigs and we’d wager the amount of creative control he may want on the project might be a factor. Secondly, the film will have a script from Leo Rossi, an actor whose only writing credits are two crime-related films, “We’re Talking Serious Money” for which someone managed to get Fran Drescher and Dennis Farina in the same room, and “Mafioso: The Father, The Son” (trailer below). Don’t worry if you never heard of them because neither did we until we looked them up.
Anyway, don’t expect too much from this project, though with Cassavetes circling, perhaps there’s something more to it that we’re just not seeing. Fiore is hoping to get in front of cameras next year though no word if Sylvester Stallone is still eyeballing the role of Gotti Sr. Official, generic synopsis below. [Variety]
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.