September 26, 2011 / 1:15 AM / 7 years ago

'Gotti' Producer Tries to Make Nice With Joe Pesci

The producer of an upcoming John Gotti biopic is trying to make nice with actor Joe Pesci.

On Sunday, Marc Fiore sent TheWrap a written statement saying nice things about Pesci — the actor who is suing the producer for allegedly downsizing his role  after he'd already gone to the trouble of up-sizing his waistline.

“During the past few days, there have been erroneous reports in the media that I have been making less than favorable comments about Joe Pesci," Fiore wrote. "For the record, I am extremely fond of Joe, think he is a terrific actor and very much want him to be in the Gotti movie. It’s unfortunate we have become embroiled in a lawsuit, however I am hopeful that we will resolve our differences and Joe will accept an offer from us to be in the film.”

TMZ reported the "less than favorable comments" that Fiore is now calling erroneous.

According to TMZ, Fiore said that Pesci "desparately wants to be part of this film project" and that "it has been over 20 years since Mr. Pesci has been able to gather the attention he has by merely interjecting his role in this film."

Pesci sued Fiore in July, claiming that he gained 30 pounds to play the role of Angelo Ruggiero — and then was offered a different, lesser role for significantly less money.

The lawsuit is only a slice of the weirdness surrounding the movie.

In June, Fiore removed Marty Ingels as executive producer of the movie. And in May, after director Barry Levinson questioned whether Lindsay Lohan would be in the film, Fiore issued a statement saying the troubled actress "will be playing the role of Kim Gotti" — and will be in a second Fiore movie.

But now, it doesn't look like Lohan will appear in the movie.

And Levinson replaced original director Nick Cassavetes after Cassavetes had a scheduling conflict.

Despite the off-screen drama, there's plenty of on-screen talent. John Travolta, Chazz Palminteri, Kelly Preston, Al Pacino and Ben Foster star.

The movie is scheduled to start shooting — shooting! — Jan. 3 in New York City. Related Articles:  Al Pacino Back in the Mob: Joins Cast of 'Gotti' Gotti to Stallone: 'Stop Messing Up My Biopic'

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