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Gotti Opens the Books for Chazz
Palminteri joins the cast of Levinson's gangster biopic.

by IGN Staff

Fiore Films today announced that it has signed Chazz Palminteri to play the role of Mafia boss Paul Castellano in its feature film Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father, which will begin pre-production in September and start principal photography on-location in New York on January 3.

"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. "I have been a longtime admirer of Barry Levinson and am looking forward to working with him."

Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson and Academy Award-nominated writer James Toback, the same team that made Bugsy which earned ten Academy Award nominations, are completing a revised version of the original screenplay. Levinson is set to direct the all-star cast that also includes John Travolta, Al Pacino and Kelly Preston.

Palminteri is best known for writing and starring in A Bronx Tale, which was a semi-autobiographical account of his childhood in New York. The film version was directed by Robert De Niro, and Palminteri went on to create a one-man show based on the film that he still performs live at theatres across the country. Palminteri also co-starred in films such as Analyze This, The Usual Suspects and Bullets Over Broadway, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

"Chazz' abilities as an actor, director, writer and producer make him one of the great talents of our time," said Marc Fiore, president and CEO of Fiore Films and producer of the film. "He is a natural to play the role of Paul Castellano and is a solid addition to our all-star cast."

Paul Castellano succeeded Carlo Gambino as head of the Gambino crime family. After his much-publicized murder in 1985, John Gotti became head of the notorious crime family.

Casting for the film is being handled by Amanda Mackey Johnson and Cathy Sandrich.

Fiore Films acquired life rights from John Gotti, Jr., the son of the late mob boss John Gotti, to the story of his life with his father. The deal marks the first time a member of the Gotti family has entered into an agreement to tell their story for a major motion picture.

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.

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