GOTTI: IN THE SHADOW OF MY FATHER
Pacino Plays Mentor to 'Dapper Don' in Gotti Film
By DAVID GERMAIN
Al Pacino is telling a new mob family story, joining John Travolta for the crime saga "Gotti: Three Generations."
Pacino will play Gambino crime family underboss Neil Dellacroce, an associate and mentor to John Gotti Sr. (Travolta), says the film's producer, Fiore Films.
"Gotti" reunites Pacino with Levinson, who directed the actor in his role as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in last year's TV movie "You Don't Know Jack," for which Pacino won an Emmy. Levinson also was a producer on Pacino's 1997 crime drama "Donnie Brasco" and co-wrote his 1979 court saga "... And Justice for All."
The cast also includes Lindsay Lohan, Joe Pesci and Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston.
Levinson, the Academy Award-winning director of 1988's "Rain Man," has brought his "Bugsy" collaborator James Toback on board to rework the script for "Gotti." The revisions will put more emphasis on Gotti's relationship with Dellacroce, who was something of a father figure to the crime boss, Levinson said.
"There's this whole thing about fathers and sons that plays through this piece," Levinson said of the film, based on the life story of Gotti's son, John Gotti Jr.
"You had a huge character in John Gotti, who's basically old school and believed in the structure of that whole system, and the son at a certain point in time basically begins to reject it and wants out of it. He says, 'I can't live my life this way,' so I think that's a real conflict," said Levinson.
Fiore Films, an independent production company, made the announcement Tuesday in Cannes, where the 64th Cannes Film Festival opens a day later.
"Al Pacino is one of the finest actors of all time and will bring an unsurpassed level of reality and excitement to the film," said Marc Fiore, the company's CEO
Pacino, 71, starred as mob leader Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" movies. He won a best-actor Oscar for 1992's "Scent of a Woman."
The big casting question left is who will play Gotti Jr.
"My guess is it's going to be someone that we may not really know. I only say that because I don't know now who's out there as a name where you say, 'Oh, yeah, he could be Gotti Jr.,'" Levinson said. "I've always worked with a lot of unknowns, people who hadn't really established themselves, so I've got no reluctance about that whatsoever."