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Chazz Palminteri joins "Gotti" as mob boss

Joshua L. Weinstein Reuters

LOS ANGELES ( - Chazz Palminteri has joined the John Gotti biopic that begins shooting in New York in January.

Producer Marc Fiore said Palminteri will star as Mafia don Paul Castellano, the one-time head of the Gambino crime family.

"Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father" also stars John Travolta, Al Pacino, Kelly Preston and Ben Foster and is being directed by Barry Levinson.

The project has encountered a series of bumps. Initially, Nick Cassavetes was to direct, but he pulled out in April due to a scheduling conflict. Barry Levinson stepped in to replace him.

Along the way, Lindsay Lohan was to star. Fiore announced he had signed her to a two-picture deal, though she's apparently not in the movie. Joe Pesci also was attached, but now is suing Fiore, saying he gained 30 pounds for one role -- and then was offered another.

One-time executive producer Marty Ingels was forced out of the project.

But it's going forward.

The movie begins pre-production in September and starts principal photography on January 3.

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May 7, 2013
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