Another “made” man has added his name to the suddenly impressive ensemble gathered together for Barry Levinson’s Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father as Fiore Films has officially announced Chazz Palminteri’s involvement in the developing biopic.
"I have seen this film come together from the very start, and am pleased to be able to work alongside such great talent to bring this story to the big screen," said Palminteri, who will be playing Mafia boss Paul Castellano when the picture begins shooting in New York in January. "I have been a longtime admirer of Barry Levinson and am looking forward to working with him."
He’s not exaggerating. While Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father got off to a slow start with casting (some would say “miscasting”) John Travolta as the Dapper Don, Levinson has gone above and beyond to right the ship. Palminteri, whose tough-guy credits include A Bronx Tale, Analyze This and The Usual Suspects, joins Al Pacino (as Aniello Dellacroce), Ben Foster (as John Gotti, Jr.) and Kelly Preston (as Victoria Gotti) in the film. Outside of hiring Martin Scorsese or casting Robert De Niro, there's no stronger move a Mafia flick can make than bringing an actor of Palminteri's ilk aboard. All of a sudden, I'm very excited to see this.
For those who aren’t well-versed in modern Mob history, Palminteri’s character, “Big Paul” Castellano, was head of the Gambino crime family for years. Following his much-publicized murder during a shoot out in front of Sparks Steak House in Manhattan – a hit ordered by John Gotti – the Dapper Don rose to the head of the family. Not only is it a role tailor made for Palminteri, it will be the second time he has played the character as he starred as Castellano in the 2001 TV movie Boss of Bosses. Let’s hope the screenwriters remembered to pen a few crisp, intimidating monologues in his most recent rewrite for this stellar talent.
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