Joe Johnston to Direct Revived 'Gotti' Biopic (Exclusive)

Joe Johnston Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

Joe Johnston Headshot - P 2012

Starring John Travolta, the film also has landed a U.S. home at Relativity and will be shopped to foreign buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Market by IM Global.

Mobster biopic Gotti is getting a second life.

Veteran filmmaker Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) has come aboard to direct the film for Fiore Films' Marc Fiore and Radar Pictures' Ted Field, while Relativity Media has snapped up U.S. distribution rights. Gotti also will be heading to Cannes, where IM Global will shop the project to foreign buyers.

Gotti stars John Travolta as the famed Gambino crime family head John Gotti Sr., nicknamed the "Dapper Don." The movie has been a longtime passion project for Travolta.

"I'm looking forward to portraying John Gotti -- it's been a long time coming. And I think that Johnson is an exciting and fresh addition to the vision of the film. We are all looking forward to starting production," Travolta said in a statement.

Added Johnston: “I think we’ve always been fascinated with the idea of the romantic outlaw. John Gotti could be in one instance a charismatic, kind and loving family man, and in another, deadly to his enemies. The opportunity to tell the true story of Gotti with John Travolta is a director’s dream.”

Johnston is set to begin filming in New York on Sept. 9. The movie is based on a story by John A. Gotti -- Gotti's son -- with an original screenplay by Leo Rossi and revisions by Lem Dobbs.

Gotti has been in the works for several years, going through several incarnations. At one point, the project made headlines when Lindsay Lohan joined the cast, only to drop out.

Fiore and Field are producing with Thomas Devlin and Michael Froch. Mike Weber and Thomas E. van Dell of Radar Pictures are executive producing alongside IM Global's Stuart Ford and Jonathan Deckter, and Russ Faber and Randi Michel.

“We are very excited that Joe Johnston is onboard, along with Relativity Media and IM Global. With this dynamite team, we feel we have put together a production that understands the magnitude and history of this great story, not just in front of but also from behind the camera," Fiore said.

Johnston is repped by Revolution.