Film News Roundup: John Travolta’s ‘Gotti’ Mob Biopic Sets June Release

In today’s film news roundup, “Gotti” gets a release date, Sony buys rights to “Where the Devil Hides,” and Loyola Marymount hires an Oscar winner to be its film school dean.

RELEASE DATE

Kevin Connolly, director of John Travolta’s “Gotti,” has announced that the delayed mob biopic will be out on June 15.

Connolly made the announcement Monday on his Instagram account. He did not say which distributor would be handling the release. Producers of “Gotti” decided in December to buy the movie back from Lionsgate, which had planned a release through its Lionsgate Premiere specialty division in hopes of getting “Gotti” a wide theatrical release.

Connolly directed from a script by Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi. “Gotti” also stars Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston, their daughter Ella Bleu Travolta, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Stacy Keach, Chris Mulkey, Lydia Hull and Spencer Lofranco.

Travolta portrays John Gotti, the flamboyant head of the Gambino crime family who spent the last decade of his life in prison before dying of throat cancer in 2002. Preston is starring as his wife Victoria Gotti. Keach is portraying Aniello Dellacroce, the underboss of the Gambino crime family who mentored Gotti. Taylor Vince plays Angelo Ruggiero, a friend of Gotti and caporegime in the Gambino crime family.

Lofranco is portraying John Gotti, Jr., Gotti’s son and eventual caporegime and acting boss of the Gambino crime family before leaving the mobster life behind.

RIGHTS DEAL

Columbia Pictures has pre-emptively bought the movie rights to Craig Russell’s upcoming horror novel “Where the Devil Hides.”

The story is set in Eastern Europe and follows a physician set to experiment on the six deadliest killers in history, who’ve been imprisoned for life within a remote mental asylum. The story is set in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s.

Russell won the 2015 crime book of the year (McIlvanney Prize) for “The Ghosts of Altona” and wrote 2017’s “The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid.”

The news was first reported by Deadline.

DEAN TAPPED 

Loyola Marymount University announced that Peggy Rajski, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker will lead LMU School of Film and Television as its next dean.

She will begin on June 1. Rajski was selected after a nationwide search to replace outgoing Dean Stephen Ujlaki, who has served in that role since 2010. Rajski is currently a professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she is the head of the producing program for the school’s graduate film program.

“I’m thrilled to join LMU’s School of Film and Television, where the university’s reputation for creative excellence, academic rigor and a strong commitment to social justice dovetails perfectly with my career and life experience,” Rajski said. “The June launch of the school’s expansion into the new Playa Vista campus creates exceptional opportunities to deepen LMU’s engagement with multi-platform and technology industry partners, expand immersive learning opportunities, and build career pathways in Silicon Beach.”

Rajski has worked with John Sayles on “Brother From Another Planet” and “Eight Men Out;” with Stephen Frears on “The Grifters;” and with Jodie Foster on “Little Man Tate” and “Home for the Holidays.” Her 1994 short film “Trevor” won the Academy Award for best live action short film. The movie, about a gay teen facing discrimination over his identity, prompted Rajski to create the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides crisis counseling and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.

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