Peter Facinelli to Play Boxer Vinny Paz
Michael Corrente has confirmed that Peter Facinelli, who plays the patriarch of the Cullen clan in the films “Twilight” and “Twilight Saga: New Moon,” has been signed to play Vinny Paz in the film “Paz,” which will chronicle the former boxer’s struggle back to world champion after a traffic accident that broke his neck and threatened to end his career.
Facinelli, who also costars on the hit cable show “Nurse Jackie,” replaces actor Scott Caan, who had costarred in Corrente’s “Brooklyn Rules” and originally was going to play Paz. Corrente said, “We wanted Scott Caan only if [his father] James Caan could play his father in the movie. But because of scheduling problems we weren’t going to be able to make that happen.”
Financier Chad A. Verdi, who is in partnership with Corrente on the film, said it was a scheduling problem because Caan’s work on the HBO series “Entourage” conflicted with the movie shoot.
Verdi-Corrente productions has also signed Facinelli, 36, for the comedy-drama “Loosies,” based on his own screenplay, in which he will play a successful New York subway pickpocket whose life changes when an old girlfriend arrives to announce that she’s pregnant with his child.
Corrente said he plans to direct both films, with “Loosies” to begin shooting June 14 in Rhode Island. The interiors will be shot here, followed by a couple of days of establishing shots in New York City.
Corrente and Verdi said they hope to begin filming “Paz,” which the director said had a budget of between $5 million and $8 million, in Rhode Island in early 2011. However, he added that they may be forced to look elsewhere if a bill to eliminate the state’s film tax credit, which gives filmmakers a tax credit on 25 percent of their budget, is passed.
In that case he said, he might be forced to make “Paz” in Massachusetts or Connecticut “or Michigan, which has a 42-percent tax credit, with only two days of exterior work in Rhode Island.”