John Travolta, meet your son. Ben Foster (The Messenger, 3:10 to Yuma) has signed on to play John Gotti, Jr., the son of the infamous New York mafia don, in the indie biopic Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father. (Travolta agreed to play Gotti Sr. earlier this year.) Barry Levinson is directing from a script by him and writer James Toback (Bugsy), with Al Pacino and Kelly Preston also set to star. UPDATE: While Lindsay Lohan has long been associated with the project, a rep for the film tells EW that “producers are still very much in talks with Lindsay’s representatives, but no agreement has been reached as of yet.”
In a statement about Foster’s casting, producer Marc Fiore said, “We have been interested in Ben from the very start, and I cannot begin to express how excited I am to have him in the movie. Ben has proven himself to be one of this generation’s finest actors, he is very serious about this role and there is no question in my mind that he is the perfect actor to bring John Gotti, Jr. to the big screen.” Added Levinson, who cast a fresh-faced Foster in his 1999 film Liberty Heights, “[Ben] is one of the few young actors who can literary transform himself from role to role, from light comedy to a deadly gunslinger in 3:10 to Yuma. I think he can bring something very memorable to the role of Gotti Jr.”
The film is scheduled to begin production on Jan. 3, 2012 in New York.