John Travolta likely set to play John Gotti. Do you prefer your Travolta family-friendly, or bad-ass?


Image Credit: Lorey Sebastian

Seems John Travolta was given an offer he couldn’t refuse: As EW anticipated in January, the Pulp Fiction actor is likely a lock to play John Gotti in Gotti: Three Generations, a biopic centered on the infamous crime family. Though a rep for the production company behind the project — Fiore Films — is not officially confirming the casting news yet, he tells EW that a press conference with Travolta, Gotti’s son John A. Gotti, and Nick Cassavetes (who is set to direct the film) has been scheduled for April 12 in New York. (It’s hard to imagine Travolta won’t be named Gotti at the press conference.)

Even though he’s not officially set as Gotti, the news makes me smile wide enough to fit an orange inside. Not only am I excited about the prospect of Travolta returning to his East Coast roots, but I’m also pumped to see the actor revisit breaking out the bad. Because as much as I enjoyed Hairspray and Look Who’s Talking, I’ll admit that I prefer my Travolta evil. Maybe it’s because bad-ass facial hair (at least, the non-alien kind) seems to strangely suit the actor. Or because the guy is extremely adept at holding a gun. Granted, both types of roles garner plenty of success for the actor — Wild Hogs made serious bank at the box office, but Pulp Fiction won him an Oscar nomination — but, to me, Travolta always seems to have more fun when playing the cackling villain. He appears to enjoy the challenge of making every single person in the movie theater despise him, which, strangely, only makes us love him more. Take, for example, 2009’s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3: We had no clue why his Ryder would hijack a train and murder innocents, but we had to respect him for his nefarious sense of humor — and being able to pull off a 1970s porn ‘stache. And, of course, there’s 1997’s Face/Off: Somehow, Travolta managed to make evil so appealing, we almost preferred him to Nicolas Cage’s good guy. Even EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum mapped out her love for Travolta’s work in her review of the film: “Travolta hasn’t been this mesmerizing a star, or this good an actor, since Pulp Fiction. Obviously thriving under the stewardship of Woo (who also directed him in the less satisfying Broken Arrow), he draws out a performance from his costar as rigorous as Con Air‘s is lazy.”

But let’s hand this over to you, PopWatchers. Do you, like me, prefer your Travolta bad, or swiveling his hips to “Greased Lightenin'”?

Read more:
John Travolta in serious talks to play John Gotti, says exec producer — EXCLUSIVE

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • Jay

    Travolta is definately a better bad guy:
    Face-Off (although he is kind of a good-guy also)
    Broken Arrow
    Pulp Fiction

    A couple of the above are mediocre movies, but Travolta was spot-on

    The only bad guy role he didn’t ace was the whole Battlefield Earth thing. Nothing could have saved THAT movie

  • Claire

    Bad ass for sure…

  • Loch Ness

    I like him best as The Crazy Scientologist.

  • amyc

    I prefer him bad. I also think his characters in Grease and Saturday Night Fever (both excellent) qualify as bad-ass roles.

  • anna peden

    Love him either way. Been with him since Welcome back Kotter

  • Karate Pants

    I like him best ‘sans hairpiece’ and unaware of photographers.
    Runner-up would be cheesy dancing/singing Travolta as I find bad, evil Travolta to be unbelievable – possibly due to too much “Grease” in my earlier years.

  • Carol

    Travolta is definitely better EVIL.

  • pink petunia

    I can totally see him in the role of John Gotti. He’s still a Jersey boy!

  • Terry

    This could be good as long as they don’t hire a Kardashian as his daughter. I’d have to skip it then.

  • Amateur EW Editor

    That would be “Lightnin'”, not “Lightenin'”. But the song is actually “Greased Lightning”.

  • Lorie

    Evil, for sure. He was fantastic in Face/Off.

  • Tori Holden

    I loved him in Phenomenon but I also loved him in The Taking of Pelham 123. Good or bad, he demonstrates versatility in range of characters which I think he should always continue to do, or be type-cast which is death for any actor.

  • Jeremo25

    Well I know my vote it’s badass


    Kudostorm to KATE WARD for another good read.

    – –

    To begin with: Sorry Kate; but I think our VINCENT VEGA has for so long a period been losin’ his “COOL” (at least) ever since THE PUNISHER’s day (2004). And as much as I “HATE” to say it, Sig. VEGA, IMO, is more than likely unable to pull through and make it once again, as a bad-aXX character a la Pulp Fiction’s days, etc.

    – –

    There was a time when — just to give a good measure — even if he sneezed, it would make him look cool; even if he fell down onto the ground, he would come right up, dust it all off and, as usual, be cool, once again. Unfortunately, IMO, those days are long gone.

    – –

    ♪ Dooon’t geeet meee wrooong. . . ♪ I “LIKE” Travolta as an actor. And I, TOO, love Vincent Vega (and PULP FICTION)! . . . I can’t imagine PULP FICTION as it be – WITHOUT him as Vega.

    – –

    . . . And all that said, I wish him well.

    – –

    However, . . .pro tem this project sounds make-or-break so as a deal to me. Reading: Oscars nom (at least) or BIG FAIL! So, again, I wish him well. Just say’n. : )

  • Imafan

    I think he’s good at both

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