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Barry Levinson to direct Gotti film

Barry Levinson has been signed to direct a feature film about the legendary Gambino crime family, Fiore Films announced Tuesday.

The film, with script developed in part by John "Junior" Gotti, son of late mob boss "Dapper Don" John Gotti, is expected in theatres late in 2012.

Levinson won an Academy Award for Rain Man, his 1988 film about an autistic man, starring Dustin Hoffman. He also directed Diner and Good Morning, Vietnam and is a producer of The Borgias and The Philanthropist TV series.

Levinson will take over the film, titled Gotti: Three Generations, from Nick Cassavetes, who cancelled last month because of scheduling conflicts.

John Travolta is to play the mob boss "Dapper Don" John Gotti, who spent the last 10 years of his life in prison before dying in 2002. Lindsay Lohan plays Gotti Jr's wife and Joe Pesci plays Gotti's friend, Angelo Ruggiero. The film is scheduled to shoot in New York this fall.

Scriptwriter Leo Rossi has the blessing of Gotti Jr., who was released from prison in 2009 after serving nine years for racketeering. He claims he left organized crime in 1999.

Levinson has said he was attracted to the project because of the "insider's view" provided by the Gotti family.

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