The story, with actor Leo Rossi working on the script, will focus on the complex relationship between Gotti and his father — the flamboyant head of the Gambino crime family in New York who spent the last decade of his life in prison before dying of cancer in 2002. In his last visit to his father, the son said he was ending his life of crime and getting out of the family business.
“I think it’s a great story about redemption and about America,” Cassavetes told Daily Variety.
Producer Marc Fiore announced the project this fall after securing the rights to Gotti’s story (Daily Variety, Sept. 22). He’s aiming to begin production next year.
Gotti was born in 1964 in Brooklyn, with his mother attempting to shield him and his three siblings from their father’s life of crime. As a young man, Gotti worked in trucking and construction but eventually worked his way up within the Gambino crime family and became a “made man” in 1988.
The younger Gotti served jail sentences of about nine years for a variety of charges, including racketeering, gambling and loan sharking, but was never convicted as a defendant in four racketeering prosecutions between 2004 and 2009. He asserts he’s turned his life around and believes that a feature film is a good means to move beyond his past.
Cassavetes’ directing credits include “My Sister’s Keeper,” “Alpha Dog” and “John Q.”