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John Travolta as Mob Boss John Gotti? Are you Kidding!?!?
Mob Boss John Gotti was a fascinating guy.
He rose from abject poverty in Brooklyn, and clawed his way up the organized crime food chain to become the "Godfather" of the largest, most powerful mafia family in the United States, the Gambino family.
Granted, John Gotti was not an altar boy or a saint. He was responsible for many murders. He plundered and stole from the citizenry of New York in countless ways. He extorted, he robbed, he intimidated.
The guy definitely had his shortcomings. But nevertheless, John Gotti was a fascinating guy with a fascinating story.
There have been countless books and a few movies dedicated to covering John Gotti and his life of crime, the most notable being the book "Mob Star" by Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain and the HBO movie "Gotti" starring Armand Assante.
In m opinion, the movie "Gotti" was pretty good; Armand Assante played Gotti to a T. And even though the movie portrayed Gotti in a pretty favorable light and twisted some important facts around, the movie was pretty good.
But now we have a new John Gotti movie coming out, this one based on the relationship between Gotti and his oldest son, John A. Gotti.
And while I think the movie will probably be biased and more than just a little slanted in favor of painting John Gotti in a noble, honorable light, any movie based on John Gotti is bound to garner a lot of publicity.
So, you would think the directors and casting agents would insist upon selecting the best possible actor to portray Mr. Gotti. Even though it would be hard to top Armand Assante's portrayal of Gotti in the HBO movie, you would think a "believable" actor to portray Gotti wouldn't be hard to find.
So, who do they select? John Travolta, a guy who looks nothing like John Gotti and talks nothing like him.
In Travolta, John Gotti will be portrayed by an actor without the rough-hewn voice or swarthy complexion of the Dapper Don.
John Gotti, at least in his later years, was a squat, husky man with a barrel chest and confident, cocky swagger.
John Travolta is much taller than Gotti was and lacks Gotti's linebacker build. And although the Gotti swagger should be easy to duplicate, Gotti's commanding presence, his ability to fill up any space he inhabited, will not be easy to reproduce.
In most of his movie roles, John Travolta has been the anti-thesis of a John Gotti, often times portraying characters who are mild-mannered, laid back, and sort of preenish.
Granted, great actors have an ability to morph into different characters, but I just can't see John Travolta pulling off a convincing John Gotti. There are too many differences between the two men.
In the HBO "Gotti" movie, Armand Assante not only looked similar to Gotti, but he had the deep, gavelly voice and the mannerisms of the late Dapper Don. Assante was close to Gotti's height, had Gotti's swarthy complexion, and resembled Gotti physically, gaining about 30 pounds to recreate John Gotti's bulk.
I just don't think John Travolta will be able to pull off a convincing Assante-like portrayal of John Gotti!