After enduring several years of false starts, legal wrangles, and having to pretend as though casting Lindsay Lohan was anything but a crass ploy for attention, the biopic of New York mobster John Gotti is back on, this time under the direction of Captain America's Joe Johnston. The man best known for old-fashioned Americana and effects-driven spectacles will apply his experience to the patriotic story of the Gambino crime family’s rise to power and the task of putting a different wig on John Travolta, who is now the only original cast member left standing from the project that finally fell apart in 2011.
Travolta clung to the role even as Gotti became a backstage drama that the on-screen one could never match, burning through directors Nick Cassavetes and Barry Levinson, shoring up its generic mob movie credentials by bringing in Al Pacino and Joe Pesci—only to have Pesci sue the production for making him get fat—and turning up near-daily in TMZ, as Lohan was repeatedly fired and rehired and fired again, and producer Marc Fiore continued to leak suggestions that he was also casting the likes of Kim Kardashian, just for the publicity.
Despite Fiore then alienating most of his cast and crew by failing to provide the money he’d promised and allowing the production to collapse—and generally behaving like the shady, mob-connected former broker who spent four years in federal prison for swindling his investors that he is—he remains on as producer, having convinced Relativity Media and Radar Pictures to join him in this second go-'round. So we can now look forward to another year of stories about Gotti trying to get made, interspersed with visits to Fiore’s still hilariously awful website.