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Travolta to play mafia Gotti

John Travolta is set to play the late head of New York's infamous Gambino crime family, John Gotti Snr, the Hollywood Reporter said on Friday.

Gotti: Three Generations will require the Hollywood star to channel both his murderous Pulp Fiction persona and a bit of Saturday Night Fever flash as he embodies a mobster who mixed ruthlessness with sartorial style.

The so-called "Dapper Don" died in prison in 2002 after a lengthy and bloody career at the head of one of New York's big Italian crime families.

His son, John Gotti Jnr, allegedly took over but proved even better than his father at slipping away from prosecutors, escaping conviction in no less than four racketeering trials.

The Hollywood Reporter said the younger Gotti had given his blessing to the biopic, which is to be directed by Nick Cassavetes and will focus on the father-son relationship.

Gotti Jnr's last racketeering and murder trial ended in December 2009 with a hung jury.

Prosecutors had been desperate to put away Gotti, who admits to a life in the Gambino family, but denies murder allegations and says that he quit the mob and reformed his ways.

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