We have no official confirmation from producers, but right now it looks like the infamous Gotti family biopic may be sleeping with the fishes. Showbiz411 is reporting that all work on Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father, which began pre-production in New York last month, has been halted due to a lack of funding. It’s unclear how much ‘work’ was actually completed on the controversial mob movie, but without a way for producer Marc Fiore to pay the film’s big name principals, word is that director Barry Levinson may not be able to hit his January start date. Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father was set to star John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Ben Foster, Al Pacino and Lindsay Lohan. Hit the jump in case you need a refresher on any of the drama.
Back in April 2010, one-time crime boss John Gotti Jr. announced plans to produce a biopic about his notorious mob family. The film would focus on the complex relationship between Gotti and his father – the flamboyant head of the Gambino crime syndicate, John Gotti Sr. Originally titled “Gotti: Three Generations,” the project scored massive early publicity by signing John Travolta to play the elder Gotti and by offering Lindsay Lohan her umpteenth comeback in the role of Gotti’s daughter.
Just as quickly, however, the production ran into some controversy. Independently financed by the unknown Fiore Films, reports surfaced that Gotti executive producer, Marc Fiore, might have a few mob skeletons in his own closet. Protests from some of the family of Gotti’s victims also made the news but, unfazed, casting for the project continued. Eventually, mob-movie favorites like Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Chazz Palminteri would all be signed; though, in another very public incident, Pesci would end up suing the producers after he claimed that he gained weight for a role later cut from the film.
The talent that Gotti attracted on the other side of the camera was also impressive. When original director Nick Cassavetes dropped out earlier this year, Barry Levinson stepped in. Levinson also agreed to share screenwriting duties on the film with his fellow Bugsy scribe James Toback and, by this summer, it looked like their re-christened Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father might be a worthwhile watch after all. Too bad that all that talent may have been assembled for nothing… if today’s story of a shut down proves accurate. Still, I wouldn’t bet on Gotti being down forever. Moneyball was declared dead more times than I can remember, and it didn’t have the inherent entertainment value of a movie about the Gotti clan.