Al Pacino is in the John Gotti movie now, supposedly

This John Gotti biopic project, which always sounded more like some slimey producer’s wishful thinking passed off as reality over starlets and cocaine than an actual movie that was getting made, is really happening, at least if Variety is to be believed.  And Variety uses insidery slang like “thesps” and “helmer”, so I have no reason to doubt them.

Al Pacino has joined the cast of indie mob drama Gotti: Three Generations opposite John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Joe Pesci, and Lindsay Lohan.  Pacino will portray Gotti associate neil Dellacroce.  The film will be directed and rewritten by Barry Levinson — who replaced Nick Cassavetes last month — with additional writing by James Toback. Levinson and Toback teamed more than two decades ago on Bugsy.

Toback last directed the documentary Tyson, and is one of the great Hollywood blowhards, in the style of Robert Evans.

Preston will play Victoria DiGiorgio, the wife of John Gotti Sr. The couple’s daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta, will play the role of their daughter, Angel Gotti. Joe Pesci is on board as Gotti deputy Angelo Ruggiero and Lindsay Lohan will play Kim Gotti, the wife of John Gotti Jr. [Variety]

It was mostly the lack of any well-known directors or writers that caused everyone’s skepticism about this project, along with the fact that producers who use Lindsay Lohan for publicity don’t have a great track record. Toback and Levinson are certainly known, but Levinson’s recent track record… ain’t great. His last couple projects were the HBO movie starring Pacino as Jack Kevorkian and a 30 for 30 documentary, but in terms of features that actually opened in theaters, you have to go all the way back to What Just Happened in 2008,which was panned and largely unseen, as were his films Man of the Year, Envy, Bandits (it got 65% on RT, but trust me, it sucks)…  pretty much everything he’s directed since Wag the Dog, in 1997.  Long story short, this movie probably isn’t going to be good, but I get the feeling the making-of, with its intersection of opportunistic mob families, sleazy producers, washed-up Hollywood types, coke-addled starlets, and closeted homosexual Scientologists, would make for an awesome Elmore Leonard story.