The saga of bringing the story of mobster John Gotti and his family to the screen is becoming an epic worthy of its own movie.
Originally titled "Gotti: Three Generations" and now referred to as "Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father," the film has been playing dangerous games of actor and director musical chairs for months now. Just as they've set a shooting date of January 3rd, 2012, with pre-production starting in September, the story of "The Teflon Don" has hit another snag: Joe Pesci is suing them.
Hollywood Wiretap reports that initially Pesci was offered the role of Gotti's right hand man/enforcer Angelo Ruggiero at a fee of $3 million dollars. Then original director Nick Cassavetes ("The Notebook") quit the project. Once Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson of "Rain Man" fame came onboard, producers at Fiore Films allegedly took that part off the table and offered Pesci the smaller role of Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso at only $1 million. That's after Mr. Pesci gained 30-pounds specifically to play the stocky Ruggiero.
If you remember some of the stuff Pesci pulled in "Goodfellas" and "Casino," you know not to mess around with this guy, for serious.
Levinson brough his "Bugsy" screenwriter James Toback on board to rewrite Leo Rossi's script, and did away with originally-cast Lindsay Lohan. The director brought in his "You Don't Know Jack" pal Al Pacino, and kept John Travolta on as the elder Gotti, along with Travolta's real-life wife Kelly Preston. Rumor has it that "Captain America" co-star Dominic Cooper may be getting tapped to play John Gotti Jr., who the movie is based around and also serves as a consultant.
According to the press release, "'GOTTI: In The Shadow Of My Father' reveals the relationship of a father who lived and died by the mob code and a son who chose to leave that world behind and redeem himself. Never before has there been such an inside look at the life of the Gotti family and their world of danger, betrayal and redemption."