Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Joe Pesci sues producers of new Gotti film

    Joe Pesci
    'Funny how?' ... actor Joe Pesci. Photograph: Mike Groll/AP
    When the makers of a new mobster movie about the infamous Gotti family announced that they had hired Joe Pesci to play a major supporting role opposite John Travolta, the buzz was palpable. Flash forward four months, and the Oscar-winning star of Goodfellas and Casino is suing the movie's makers for allegedly cutting his salary by $2m and asking him to take a smaller part. Pesci's lawyers filed the suit yesterday at an unnamed court, claiming producers of Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father used his name to drum up publicity for the project, thereby attracting acting talent and investment, but are now refusing to honour the original agreement. Pesci was set to play Angelo Ruggiero, a trusted senior lieutenant of crime boss John Gotti Sr, and claims he gained more than two stone for the part. He is now seeking the $3m he says he was originally promised and wants to be reinstated in the role. "Defendant has no intention of paying (Pesci) $3 million or having him portray Ruggiero in the film," the lawsuit claims. "Rather, plaintiff secretly planned to use (Pesci's) name and likeness to promote the film and then to later concoct some pretext for terminating the contract so as to avoid paying plaintiff anything for the substantial publicity and 'buzz' that was generated." Producer Marc Fiore, meanwhile, insists Pesci walked away from the role when original director Nick Cassavetes left the production. He says the actor made it clear he would not sign an official deal until a new director had been found. Cassavetes was later replaced by Barry Levinson, another Oscar-winner. "He's wasting his time and everybody else's time," Fiore, of Fiore Films, told the Associated Press. "I might be a newbie in town. This newbie is not going to get bullied around." He said he may countersue Pesci. The film is the first time the story of the Gambino crime family, once considered the most powerful criminal organisation in the world, will have been dramatised in such detail on the big screen. The movie has reportedly received the blessing of Gotti's son John Gotti Jr, who posed for photographs with some of the cast at a press conference in April. Travolta is due to play John Gotti Sr, with his wife Kelly Preston as Gotti Sr's wife Victoria, and his daughter Ella Bleu Travolta as the former mobster's daughter Angel Gotti. Al Pacino joined the cast in May as Gambino crime family underboss Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce, an associate of and mentor to John Gotti Sr. Lindsay Lohan is due to play Kim Gotti, the wife of John Gotti Jr. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2011/jul/28/joe-pesci-sues-fiore-films  


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