UPDATED: Nick Cassavetes gets whacked, the Gotti movie has a new director

UPDATE: According to THR, Hollywood veteran Barry Levinson (RAIN MAN, WAG THE DOG, DINER) will now step in to direct the generational mobster saga.

April 18, 2011: The mob is gonna need a new director, because Nick Cassavetes sleeps with the fishes.

No, Cassavetes isn't dead (presumably), but he also isn't directing GOTTI: THREE FAMILIES. Despite the biopic project gearing up with an announcement/press conference just last week with Cassavetes in attendance, he has since been "released from his contract due to scheduling conflicts", according to Variety.

The Gotti movie will star John Travolta as the notorious crime boss, and also features Joe Pesci and Lindsay Lohan (yoikes...). The story chronicles "the relationship of a father who lived and died by the mob code and a son who chose to leave that world behind and redeem himself."

Cassavetes, perhaps best known on screen in FACE/OFF (and as himself on "Entourage") and behind the camera on THE NOTEBOOK, ALPHA DOG and JOHN Q, will reportedly be too busy turning the screws on his indie YELLOW, featuring Ben Foster, Sienna Miller and Luke Wilson. You'll also spot him in THE HANGOVER 2 as a Bangkok tattoo artist (a role initially played by Liam Neeson until scheduling conflicts kept him from reshoots).

GOTTI: THREE FAMILIES is currently looking for a replacement director, with a planned October start of filming.

Extra Tidbit: Cassavetes was once in talks to direct IRON MAN, and later CAPTAIN AMERICA. Maybe he's still got a superhero movie in him...
Source: Variety



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