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Joe Pesci Files Lawsuit Against Producers Of ‘Gotti’ Over Weight Gain, Role Switch & Reduced Pay

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 28, 2011 at 8:19AM

We've always been a little skeptical about the gestating "Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father" if only because the producers, Fiore Films, have somewhat improbably lined up a cast that includes John Travolta, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci despite the fact their only other produced film to date is this. Where were they getting the kind of scratch to get this big stars into play? How would the filmmakers whose only movie thus far is straight-to-video National Lampoon's comedy manage to make something solid of a film about one of the most notorious gangsters of our generation? Why did they use Lindsay Lohan to drum up press for the film by pretending they were going to cast her? Well, to hear it from Pesci, empty promises seem to be par for the course with these guys.
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We've always been a little skeptical about the gestating "Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father" if only because the producers, Fiore Films, have somewhat improbably lined up a cast that includes John Travolta, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci despite the fact their only other produced film to date is this. Where were they getting the kind of scratch to get this big stars into play? How would the filmmakers whose only movie thus far is straight-to-video National Lampoon's comedy manage to make something solid of a film about one of the most notorious gangsters of our generation? Why did they use Lindsay Lohan to drum up press for the film by pretending they were going to cast her? Well, to hear it from Pesci, empty promises seem to be par for the course with these guys.

According to TMZ, the actor is filing a lawsuit against the producers in the film. What for exactly? Well, Pesci had signed on to play the role of Angelo Ruggiero, a high-ranking member of the Gambino crime family and close friend of Gotti. Word is he gained 30 pounds to play the stocky character only for the producers to pull a switcheroo, ask him to play another role entirely and in process dropped his fee from $3 million to $1 million. Pesci then decided to get his shinebox.

No word on yet on how this may affect the film which is gearing up to go into pre-production in September and start rolling in January, but we can probably safely assume Pesci will no longer be taking part (unless the producers agree to give him back the role he signed on to play). And if this does go to court, we really hope Pesci represents himself...

This article is related to: Actors, Films, Gotti: Three Generations, Joe Pesci


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