Joe Pesci Suing Fiore Films Over Gotti: In the Shadow Of My Father

It's always impressive when an actor changes their physical appearance for a role, but particularly so when said actor goes to the extreme. I'm referring to actors like Robert De Niro, who, after taking the lead role in Raging Bull, gained 60 pounds; or Christian Bale, who, when cast in The Machinist, went from weighing a healthy 173 pounds down to a sickly 110. So what would have happened if De Niro or Bale had started their process only to be told by the filmmakers down the line that they would be playing a different role in the movie? They'd be reasonably pissed, and that's exactly what happened to Joe Pesci.

Deadine has learned that Pesci has filed a lawsuit against Fiore Films, the studio behind the upcoming (and recently retitled) Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father. According to the suit, Pesci was originally hired to play Angelo Ruggiero, John Gotti Sr.'s right-hand man, told to gain 30 pounds, and was offered $3 million. Later, however, after Pesci was promoted as being part of the project, they gave him a lesser role and offered him only $1 million. The suit reads as follows:

"Defendant has no intention of paying [Pesci] $3 million or having him portray Ruggiero in the film. 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."

In a statement to the Associated Press, CEO Marc Fiore said, "Before we had a deal, Mr. Pesci walked away." Set to be directed by Barry Levinson, who replaced Nick Casavettes, the film stars John Travolta, Al Pacino, and Kelly Preston.

This story leads me to believe that nobody over at Fiore Films has ever seen a Joe Pesci movie. If they had, they would have known that you should never fuck with Joe Pesci. It may all be fake, but I've watched that guy punch Frank Vincent to death so many times that I'm convinced he really has it in him. Bet the next detail that comes out about this case is that Mark Fiore called Pesci, "a funny guy."

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.