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Barry Levinson Shops 'Gotti' to Foreign Buyers (Cannes)

ICM chair Jeff Berg says project will "resonate internationally because of the values of the family."

Barry Levinson
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Producer Marc Fiore, ICM chairman Jeff Berg, screenwriter Leo Rossi and director Barry Levinson roped off a corner of the Majestic hotel in Cannes Thursday to stump for their Gotti: Three Generations project in foreign waters.

Despite being a distinctly American story of crime and corruption, Berg declared to the small crowd assembled that the film was “going to resonate internationally because of the values of the family.”

“It is a mob movie,” Fiore reiterated after Berg was finished speaking. “But it’s a complete insider’s story of the most high-profile mob family in the world.”

Levinson only came on to direct recently, after first having minimal interest in the project and no first-hand knowledge of the New York-based Gottis. But after a trio of meetings with John Gotti, Jr., during which the son of the Dapper Don divulged “insights” and personal stories from inside the family, Levinson became much more intrigued. Despite the slew of mob-related entertainment in the past forty years, Levinson made the claimthat “if we can bring all that to the screen, we can redefine the mob picture.”

READ: Producer Confirms Lindsay Lohan's Participation in 'Gotti' (Cannes)

The writer-director of Diner, Tin Men and Avalon, Levinson isn’t a complete stranger to the crime genre. He directed Bugsy in 1991, and he has brought his screenwriter from that movie, James Toback, on to rework the Gotti script. Levinson says they plan to start filming at the end of the year.

Asked whether he plans to do another film in the meantime‹now that his found-footage-driven eco-thriller The Bay is nearing completion, Levinson cagily implied that he will but refused to divulge any specific project.

Al Pacino, John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Joe Pesci are attached to star in Gotti, while the participation of Lindsay Lohan, who has been cast as Gotti Jr.’s wife Kim, continues to be a subject of debate since her recent sentencing to prison time and community service. Fiore maintains that she will be in the film.

Email: jay.fernandez@thr.com