Leave a Comment

It's hard to imaging a strange turn-around for a project than the upcoming John Gotti biopic When John Gotti Jr., son of the famous modern-day New York mobster, announced plans last year to produce a biopic about his father, it seemed like the worst kind of hagiography, a son trying to "clear the record" on his famous father. When Nick Cassavetes, director of The Notebook, signed on to direct, then cast Lindsay Lohan in the film, it seemed like the movie would be possibly interesting, but almost definitely a disaster.

But then Cassavetes dropped out, not long after a splashy New York press conference to announce the start of filming this fall; he was soon replaced by Barry Levinson, who then pulled his weight with his You Don't Know Jack star Al Pacino to cast Michael Corleone himself in a new mob film. Now with Levinson reworking the script along with James Toback, and John Travolta, Joe Pesci and Kelly Preston also set for the cast, the Gotti biopic looks like a horse of a different color. And now it has a new title to go along with its new lease on life.

Production company Fiore Films, via What's Playing, has announced that the film has been retitled Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, ditching the previous title Gotti: Three Generations. Production is still set for the fall, which is kind of remarkable given the overhaul the film has undergone in the last few months. They're aiming for a 2012 release, which seems a little ambitious, but maybe they think they've got awards hopes here? Anyway, the new title should go at least a little ways toward distancing the film from the messy development process; the burden of proof, of course, will be if the finished product turns out any good as a result.