John Travolta plays another slick gangster in the first 'Gotti' trailer

The past couple of decades have been less than kind to John Travolta, who once reigned as a world-famous sex symbol in Hollywood. Apart from an acclaimed comedic performance in the 2007 Hairspray reboot and an award-worthy turn as litigator Robert Shapiro in FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson (available on Netflix), Travolta’s most noteworthy recent work is probably all the work he’s had done on his face.

Whether that will change with Travolta’s upcoming John Gotti biopic (titled Gotti) remains to be seen, but at least he’s back in the spotlight! Lionsgate has released the first official trailer via YouTube, giving us an in-depth look at the film.

Apart from Travolta — who plays Gotti, obviously — Kelly Preston (Travolta’s real-life spouse) appears as Gotti’s wife, Victoria DiGiorgio, and their daughter, Ella Bleu, plays Angel Gotti. Spencer Lofranco (Unbroken) portrays John Gotti Jr., who acts as the film’s narrator as well as one of the main characters. The story spans nearly 30 years, recounting Gotti’s rise to the top of the Gambino crime family and his tumultuous reign as its de facto leader.

In the trailer itself, Travolta does most of the narration, affecting an Italian accent and making grandiose statements like “I was a kid in these streets, and I made it to the top” and “I will build something that nobody can destroy!” The trailer is fairly standard action-crime fare, featuring Gotti’s betrayal of boss Paul Castellano and Gotti Jr.’s rise up the criminal ranks (against his mother’s wishes, of course).

The very fact that Gotti is actually happening is a minor miracle, considering the project’s tumultuous history. Kevin Connolly (known best as “E” from Entourage) will direct, but he’s the fourth man tapped for that role, succeeding Nick Cassavetes, Joe Johnston, and Barry Levinson. Several big names have been associated with the project over the past several years, including Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Lindsay Lohan, but none remained by the time filming began in 2016 (by the way, the movie was actually shot in Cincinnati, not New York).

Gotti was written by Leo Rossi and Lou Dobbs. Though the trailer itself simply says “Coming Soon” at the end, the description below the YouTube video says the film will be released in theaters and on demand on December 15.

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