Ben Foster Joins Barry Levinson's Gotti Film

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival

The actor will play John Gotti Jr. in "Gotti: In The Shadow of my Father."

Ben Foster has been cast as John Gotti Jr. in Barry Levinson’s Gotti: In The Shadow of my Father, starring John Travolta, Al Pacino and Kelly Preston.

Levinson begins shooting the independent film, scripted by James Toback and produced by Fiore Films, in New York in January. The project has the blessing of Gotti Jr., and delves into his relationship with his father, John Gotti Sr., the head of the Gambino crime family. Gotti Sr. will be played by Travolta.

Foster’s film credits include The Mechanic, 3:10 to Yuma and X-Men: The Last Stand. His television credits include HBO’s Six Feet Under

The actor is represented by WME, management company Ken Jacobson Management and law firm Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson.

Levinson, the writer and director of Diner, Tin Men and Avalon, took over the project after director Nick Cassavetes bowed out in May over scheduling conflicts. Levinson has some mob film experience -- he directed Bugsy, for which Toback wrote the screenplay. Toback has been brought in to rework the original Gotti script.

Gotti is the subject of some controversy. Last week THR reported that Joe Pesci has sued Fiore Films for $3 million and punitive damages, claiming that his role was cut from the film after he had gained 30 pounds to play Gotti associate Angelo Ruggiero.

Pesci’s suit alleges that Fiore Films did not intend to pay the actor the $3 million he claims he was offered for the part and instead only planned to use Pesci’s name to promote the film. Fiore Films CEO Marc Fiore has said that he will fight the lawsuit.

Twitter: @DanielNMiller