Hot Take: Apparently, Gotti needed to burn through 4 directors, 44 producers and 8 years to get made. At some point, someone, anyone(!) could have stopped this from happening.
The backstory to the release of Gotti is more interesting than the resulting film sometimes described as a passion project of John Travolta but originally something much different. The film was originally supposed to detail the life of John Gotti Jr. and was attached to an impressive list of talent including, at one point or another during the 8 years leading up to its release, Barry Levinson, Nick Cassavetes, Joe Johnston, Al Pacino, Lindsay Lohan, Ben Foster and Chazz Palminteri. Somewhere in the timeline, Joe Pesci was cast and gained 30 pounds for the role of Gotti’s close friend Angelo Ruggiero. Eventually, he was re-cast and had his salary cut and sued Fiore Films, the original studio to own the film’s rights. In 2015, the film landed in the lap of Kevin Connolly of Entourage fame and he was slated to direct. In 2016, Travolta joined the cast and the film began production. Lionsgate, which was set to release the film domestically, was disappointed with the resulting film and chose to skip theaters and go directly to VOD rather than attempt to release the film during the crowded Awards season back in December 2017. Producers cut ties with Lionsgate and found a new distributor in Vertical Entertainment and financial backing from MoviePass Ventures. The former being a distributor that will release pretty much anything in theaters and the latter being a new business venture from the $9.99 per month movie ticket subscription service. The resulting release date became June 15, 2018 and upon release, Gotti became the rare release to receive an odious 0% Tomatometer from Rotten Tomatoes. That’s 25 reviews to date (as of June 19th) that have labelled the film “Rotten”. Although not part of the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregator, consider this review an unofficial “Rotten” review for the film, as well. But “Rotten” isn’t quite strong enough and while it wasn’t the worst of 2018, it’s pretty darn close.Read More →