Travolta poised with full film slate looming
Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:50 p.m.
Consider John Travolta's life for a moment. Or, rather, his casual take on it.
The subject at hand centers on his upcoming film projects. There is one opening in July and two on the runway. He'll start filming one of those two before the year ends, he said.
He's just waiting for the first green light; the first one to get its ducks in a row will be the first one on his plate.
"First come, first served," he said.
He'll wait without too much concern, though. This is the pace of Hollywood, and he has plenty to do between now and then.
The actor, Marion County resident and pilot will fly across the globe in the coming weeks. His action thriller "Killing Season" — his film with longtime friend Robert De Niro — opens in July, and there will be plenty of red carpets and promotional obligations. He will travel to Peru and London to make appearances for Swiss watch maker Breitling (he's the company's global face) and stop in Geneva on behalf of aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, he said.
Then there are several film festivals in Europe and beyond. Among the stops: Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
He described all of this during an interview this week in Marion County, where he was on his way to pick up his 2-year-old son, Ben, just like any dad on kid duty.
What's notable about this schedule — beyond, well, all of it — is how nonchalant he is. He's elated about the upcoming movies, sure. Very much so, in fact. But this is his life. Starring in films, promoting them and tending to the international business of being John Travolta has been the pace of life for more than 30 years.
He and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, are the parents of Ben, Ella Bleu, 13, and the late Jett Travolta. They are active parents who just returned from family trips to Australia and Hawaii. It was a nice break, as the Travolta train is about the start rolling like a locomotive on Crisco-slicked tracks.
Preston, meanwhile, said she is considering offers on two films and has committed to producing another. It's all very early in the process, thus she could not provide further details. But one given is "Gotti," where she will play mob wife Victoria Gotti to Travolta's John Gotti Sr. Ella is slated to play their daughter.
‘Gotti,' at last
"Gotti," a biopic on the famed crime boss, is back on after delays and director shifts. Currently, Joe Johnston ("Captain America: The First Avenger") is slated to direct, and the current draft of the script — another point of contention — now suits the cast and crew, Travolta contends.
"The script is good," he said. It's not as dark and is more "John Sr. heavy than John Jr. heavy." The screenplay develops through interviews with Jr. about his famed and convicted father, to be played by Travolta.
"Everything is in motion," Travolta said of production. "It's a moving ship but still the crew is getting their rooms."
That is to say, final bits of business need to be shored up, and that is expected to happen next week at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
The film is "theoretically funded already," Travolta noted. But at Cannes, those funding it plan to "sell off pieces of their investment so as to guarantee the return on their money."
Suffice to say, "Gotti" is back on track with three Travoltas on board.
If "Gotti" finds success in France, "the only thing that becomes speculative is the start date," Travolta said.
Also seeking investment attention next week in France is "The Forger," a heist drama to be directed by Emmy Award-winner Philip Martin.
Travolta signed on this month to play the lead, a petty thief who buys his way out of prison but must pull off one last heist for those who provided the get-out-of-jail money.
"John Travolta is one of the great actors of our time with exceptional appeal worldwide. We are overjoyed to bring ‘The Forger' to life with such a dynamic lead in this classic heist movie," noted Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel of The Solution Entertainment Group, one of film's financial backers, in a statement printed on www.deadline.com.
This thriller starring Travolta and De Niro has wrapped and is slated for a July 12 release in larger markets, according to Travolta's staff. It will open in smaller markets soon thereafter.
Travolta stars as Emil Kovac, a Serbian veteran of the Bosnian war who happens across an American who served in the same conflict. Yet Travolta's Emil has a score to settle. Set in the Appalachian Mountains, the film is directed by Mark Steven Johnson ("Daredevil," "Ghost Rider").
This the first time Travolta and De Niro have starred in a movie together, though they have known each other since the late 1970s. They met, Travolta recalled, at Liza Minnelli's house shortly after she filmed "New York, New York" with De Niro. He and Travolta both asked each other for autographs, and De Niro's autograph to Travolta read: "From one autograph hound to another."
In the interview earlier this week, Travolta called De Niro "very professional, very easy to work with. ... He's got a natural sense of humor."
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