Dafoe, Hoskins, Modine ready to tell 'Tales'

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Willem Dafoe, Bob Hoskins and Matthew Modine are set to star in writer-director Abel Ferrara's "Go Go Tales," a screwball comedy that has taken a circuitous path to production.

Dafoe will play the owner of a New York go-go dancing club whose brother and financial backer (Modine) threatens to pull the plug on his business. The owner and his accountant (Hoskins) face a bumpy night as the strippers threaten to strike. Ferrara's longtime pal, Italian actress/filmmaker Asia Argento, will play a small role as one of the dancers.

Ferrara originally was slated to begin principal photography on the project in January 2005, but after distribution rights for several territories were presold, the production never got off the ground. According to a statement from Bellatrix Media, which is producing the project, Italian state film organization Istituto Luce and producer Gam Film filed suit against the director, who then filed a counterclaim against them. The parties settled out of court, with the screenplay rights and Ferrara's services turning over to Bellatrix, owned by Swiss entrepreneur Massimo Gatti.

Principal photography began Monday in Rome and moves to New York in January. Ferrara's credits include "Bad Lieutenant" and "The Funeral."