Gotti project gains billionaire backer
Movie about mob boss has big names attached but was beset by financial woes
By Brent Lang, Reuters
There won't be any cement shoes for a certain troubled mob project.
After running into financial difficulties, Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father has picked up a key backer: Ted Field.
The billionaire media entrepreneur has joined the Fiore Films picture as a producer, TheWrap has learned.
Field - who has produced more than 50 films, including The Last Samurai, Runaway Bride, and Mr. Holland's Opus - will play an "active role" in the production, according to an individual with knowledge of the talks. Field runs Radar Pictures.
Director Barry Levinson made the introduction between Marc Fiore and Ted Field. It was Levinson who urged Fiore to sit down with Field, according to the individual.
The cast of the film, which includes such heavy hitters as John Travolta, Ben Foster and Al Pacino, was notified this week of Field's involvement.
The movie centres on the relationship between Gambino crime family head John Gotti, the infamous "Dapper Don," and his son John Gotti Jr. Fiore Films acquired the life rights from a Gotti Jr. in 2010. The movie is the first to get the co-operation of a Gotti family member.
The project had been dogged by reports that funding had dried up and by a lawsuit between the producers and Joe Pesci, who left the project after his role changed.
It was previously supposed to begin shooting in January, but a new schedule still has to be determined. The previously announced cast, which also includes Kelly Preston and Chazz Palminteri, and screenwriter James Toback are still involved. Lindsay Lohan has been attached to the project at various times.
The film has swapped out law firms, however. Pryor Cashman will come on board to replace Greenberg Traurig.
A representative for Fiore Films declined to comment. Field did not immediately respond to requests for comment.