Finally, some good news for Lindsay Lohan. Barry Levinson said today he didn’t mean to suggest the troubled starlet was “definitively” out of a major new role in his upcoming mob film Gotti: Three Generations.
Though her involvement in the film — in which she plays “The Teflon Don’s” daughter-in-law — has been on-and-off as the project has evolved, Levinson tells EW he was misrepresented in a recent article by TheWrap.com: “I guess maybe sometimes when you’re trying to be discreet, it doesn’t get reported that way.” Now he’s speaking out to clarify.
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He says he told The Wrap that he just wasn’t sure about her involvement in the nascent project. “We haven’t clarified that,” he was quoted saying yesterday. “She’s possibly not.” — which quickly morphed into the headline (since corrected): “Lohan Probably Out of ‘Gotti’ Project.”
“Someone asked me about Lindsay Lohan and I said ‘To be honest with you, right now I’m so busy that I have to go and sit down and write the piece,'” Levinson, the Oscar-winning director of Rain Man, Bugsy, and Avalon, told EW at the Cannes Film Festival. “I know her name has been mentioned in relation to it, but right now my focus is simply to write it, as opposed to dealing with the specifics of her in the role or whatever.”
For now, it seems like her participation is back on. Producer Marc Fiore issued a statement saying Lohan will be in the film, “despite reports to the contrary.” She was originally offered the role when director Nick Cassavetes, now no longer involved due to a scheduling conflict, was overseeing the movie.
The reversal was a rare bright bit of news for Lohan, whose career has been a shambles as she struggled with legal problems and reckless behavior that has made her a chaotic presence on sets, and cost her some high-profile roles. She pleaded no contest this week to a shoplifting charge that violated her previous parole guidelines and will likely lead to house arrest.
Levinson said he didn’t mean to pile on, but was simply not certain about her involvement — and that got misconstrued by the media. “I’m stepping into something that I have to rework. And that was my emphasis,” Levinson said. “I guess it came out as a complete slight [against Lohan], when I’m just trying to focus on the main thing.”
There is no doubt about the other announced stars of Gotti: Three Generations: John Travolta is signed on as the late mob kingpin John Gotti Jr., who died in 2002, and Kelly Preston as the character’s wife, Victoria. Al Pacino was recently announced as his mentor-in-crime and father figure, Neil Dellacroce. The role of Gotti’s son, John Gotti III, who has served six years in prison for racketeering and extortion, has not been set.
The real Gotti III is cooperating with the film, and Levinson said it will be about his failed struggles to get out of the family business as a young man. “At the heart of it, in terms of father-son, is that the father was the most powerful of modern-time mafia dons,” Levinson said. “And here is the son, who basically ascends to power, and has to say to his father, you know something? I don’t want this. I know I came into this world, but it’s not really my world, and I want out.”
For more film news, follow Anthony Breznican on Twitter @Breznican