Producers behind an upcoming gangster movie are still hopeful Joe Pesci will accept a role in the film, even though the actor has filed suit over claims they reneged on a casting agreement.
The Goodfellas star is suing bosses at Fiori Films, the production company behind Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, alleging he was offered a $3 million (£2 million) deal to play Angelo Ruggiero, an associate of late Mafia boss John Gotti.
Pesci claims the casting was announced at the Cannes Film Festival in France over the summer (11) and he even piled on weight in preparation for the role, only to be later told he would be playing a smaller part.
Producer Marc Fiori has now reached out to Pesci, insisting he hopes the legal battle won't prevent the star from appearing in the film.
He tells the Hollywood Reporter, "During the past few days, there have been erroneous reports in the media that I have been making less than favourable comments about Joe Pesci. 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."
The movie stars John Travolta and is due for release next year (12).