Pesci claims reps from Fiore Films offered him the major role of Angelo Ruggiero, Gotti’s close friend and enforcer. Pesci claims he was offered $3 million for the role.
Pesci went public with how happy he was to appear in the movie, which stars John Travolta as John Gotti, Jr. Then the producers pulled the deal, claiming that Pesci breached the deal by trying to back out.
Pesci claims he was offered a lesser role playing Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso for a smaller fee of $1 million.
But now comes the best part. Pesci’s lawyer claims his client was so sure the contract was his that he took on the character of Ruggiero in every respect. He apparently gave up his regular very strict and healthy diet, and gained approximately 30 pounds in preparation for playing Ruggiero, a man well known for his heavy and stocky build.
Pesci is suing for at least $3 million minimum, as well as punitive damages.
Marc Fiore, the executive producer of “Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father,” has called the lawsuit “a total joke.”
Fiore claims, “Nick Cassavetes (who was the director of the movie briefly) brought Joe Pesci in. When Cassavetes left to do the movie “Yellow,” Pesci stopped returning my phone calls. We offered the role of Gaspipe Casso to Joe, and he turned it down. The fact is, Pesci wouldn’t return Barry’s calls, my calls, or our attorney’s phone calls.”
Fiore says he is baffled why Joe Pesci would keep on gaining weight for the role yet not return his calls. Fiore says he hasn’t ruled out filing a countersuit against the “Goodfellas” star, Pesci.
Filming is scheduled to begin next year with a star-studded cast that includes Al Pacino and Lindsay Lohan.