The production of Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father has been insane to say the least. In addition to director, talent and title shake-ups, the most recent development had a 30-pounds-heavier Joe Pesci suing the production because they changed his character and replaced a $3 million offer with one of only $1 million. I still find it hard to believe that the movie will ever get made, but if it does it now has an excellent lead actor.

The Wrap has learned that Ben Foster, most recently seen alongside Jason Statham in The Mechanic, has signed on to play the role of John Gotti Jr. in the gangster film. Previous actors rumored for the role included James Franco and Dominic Cooper. The project set to be directed by Barry Levinson and the rest of the cast includes John Travolta (who will play Foster's father, John Sr.), Al Pacino, and Kelly Preston. The film's script was written by Levinson, Leo Rossi and James Toback and Fiore Films, the company backing the movie, hopes to have production start in January 2012. Foster has been quite busy of late, having starred in Fernando Meirelles' 360, Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, Oren Moverman's Rampart, and Ridley Scott's Prometheus.

If you couldn't tell by that list, Foster has been hooking up with some truly fantastic directors as of late and his star is only on the rise. Pre-production for Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father has been such a mess, but the truth is that Foster is a true asset to any film and actually gives the film a touch of legitimacy. Why would an actor as smart and talented sign up for a film that's going absolutely nowhere?

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