While the 'Love Ranch' actor claims he was used to attract investors for 'Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father', Fiore Films' CEO insists, 'Before we had a deal, Mr. Pesci walked away.'
Fiore Films' CEO, Marc Fiore, has spoken up to slam the accusation thrown by actor Joe Pesci, which suggested that the company was using his name to promote and attract investors for biopic "Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father". Fiore insisted that it was Pesci himself who pulled out of the project after director Nick Cassavetes left last April.
Fiore claimed that Pesci once said he would not return until Cassavetes was replaced, and that he rebuffed attempts made by the film's new director Barry Levinson to reach out to him. "Before we had a deal, Mr. Pesci walked away," Fiore said. "He's wasting his time and everybody else's time. I might be a newbie in town. This newbie is not going to get bulled around."
Fiore made such claims after Pesci filed a lawsuit against his company. The 68-year-old veteran actor claimed he was initially promised to play Angelo Ruggiero, a childhood friend and enforcer of crime boss John Gotti Sr., with a $3 million fee, but now he is only offered a less significant role, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, at just $1 million.
Pesci's lawyer Brandon Tesser explained that his client has gained 30 pounds in preparation to play Ruggiero. He said, "[Pesci] has since ended his very strict and healthy diet, and has so far gained approximately 30 pound in anticipation of playing Ruggiero, who was well known for his heavy and stocky build."
Based on true story, "Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father" centers on John Gotti, a father who lives and dies by the Mob code. His beloved son John Gotti Jr., however, refuses to follow his path in the mafia world and chooses to redeem himself.
Pesci has been cast to star in the movie alongside John Travolta, Al Pacino, Lindsay Lohan, Kelly Preston and Ella Blue. Rumor has it, Dominic Cooper is also eyed to join the cast ensemble. This biopic will begin shooting in January 2012.