Just 10 days ahead of it was set to be released, the film Gotti, starring John Travolta as the legendary mobster John Gotti, has been discarded by Lionsgate
The news got via Tracking Board on Wednesday, that reported that Lionsgate had sold the film back to production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis, that would now be looking for new distribution and certainly not managing a 2017 release.
However, according to Travolta, who communicated to Deadline on Wednesday, this is “fake news.” He says it wasn’t Lionsgate that sought to dump him, but rather, the other way around. Travolta felt that Lionsgate wouldn’t give Gotti the attention it deserved, treating it as more of an independent film than the large release he believes it deserves.
In fact, the actor clams, he even found a new financier, Edward Walson, the producer behind Woody Allen’s Café Society and upcoming Wonder Wheel. “Unfortunately, the stories were speculation bordering on fake news,” Travolta said. “Lionsgate was planning on a minimal release, and I did an investigation into people who might have the interest and financial wherewithal to ahead release it. Ed is a fan of mine and of the Gotti facts and honestly wished to see the movie. I invited his group, they saw it and bought it. That is the simple explanation for this. It wasn’t dropped. It wasn’t simple to get Lionsgate to give it up. They stated no, twice, and I literally begged them to reconsider and they finally and generously let it go. We signed this deal about three weeks ago, to purchase back the film from Lionsgate. Our blunder was we should have stated something right then and discussed our plan for the film. We didn’t anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong.”
The speculation Travolta might be mentioning to is Twitter’s reaction to the news that the film had suddenly been dropped, questioning if the actor might be joining the ranks of countless male celebrities who have recently been met with assault and harassment allegations, leading multiple to be dumped from their respective projects (ex. Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K.).
Gotti, was directed by Entourage’s Kevin Connolly and further stars Travolta’s real-life wife Kelly Preston as Victoria Gotti, wife of John. The project took several years to find funding, with several financiers having discarded out along the way.
Nevertheless, Walson believes it’s “a fantastic movie-star film, with a multi-dimensional, iconic character portrayed by one of the fantastic multi-talented actors. We are hoping to take this movie to Cannes; it’s a movie-star film that deserves the glitter of Cannes and then a large release shortly thereafter.”