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Kevin Connolly to direct John Travolta in Gotti

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Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

E is doing the movie — the John Gotti movie.

Kevin Connolly, best known for playing movie star manager Eric Murphy on Entourage, is set to direct John Travolta in Gotti, the long-gestating biopic about the late New York City mobster John Gotti and the son who succeeded him. The news was announced by Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Fiore Films, and Herrick Entertainment, who will jointly produce and finance the film.

Written by Leo Rossi and Lem Dobbs, Gotti will chronicle the Teflon Don’s rise through the ranks of the Gotham underworld to lead the Gambino crime family; it will also explore the kingpin’s bond with son John Angelo Gotti III, known as Junior Gotti.

The film’s development has been marked by a series of setbacks and false starts since the younger Gotti connected with producer Marc Fiore five years ago. Since then, actors including Lindsay Lohan, Al Pacino, Ben Foster, and Joe Pesci and directors such as Nick Cassavetes, Barry Levinson, and Joe Johnston have all been linked to the project at various times.

The Highland Film Group will shop Gotti to international buyers at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, and Lionsgate Premiere will release the film stateside.

Connolly — whose directing credits include two episodes of Entourage, the hockey documentary Big Shot, and the indie movie Gardener of Eden — responded to the Gotti news with a tweet declaring that it’s “Game time!”

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