John Travolta Says "Gotti" Wasn't Dropped

Actor John Travolta arrives at the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica California U.S

Lionsgate Drops John Travolta's Mob Drama “Gotti,” Sells Film Back to Producers (Exclusive)

The star's upcoming flick "Gotti" was set to debut on December 15 under Lionsgates's Premiere division, which had planned a small scale release of the mobster movie - a choice that didn't please Travolta.

So badda-boom, badda-bing, Lionsgate was persuaded to sell Gotti back to the production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis, which produced the film with Fiore Films and Highland Film Group. It is unclear if the film will find new distribution or when it's now scheduled to debut.

Gotti - who died aged 61 of throat cancer in prison in 2002 - was one of the most powerful and unsafe crime bosses in the world.

Travolta, 63, plays the famous mobster alongside his wife Kelly Preston as Victoria Gotti and Stacy Keach as Aniello Dellacroce.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. Lionsgate meant to give it a "minimal release".

"Our mistake was we should have said something right then, and discussed our plan for the film", Travolta said.

In an interview with Deadline published late last night, Travolta characterised the reports on the film as "speculation bordering on fake news". Gotti's son, John Gotti Jr., is one of the film's executive producers. It's all pure speculation though as there has been no official news on anything related to the matter, though if there is, we will likely hear so soon. The script was penned by Lem Dobbs (The Limey). Travolta told Deadline that his portrayal would dig into why a violent man became a sort of folk hero.

Travolta says he found a financier willing to spend more money on a wider release of the Kevin Connolly-directed John Gotti biopic, which Travolta considers one of his better performances. What I needed to know was why the public loved John Gotti so much.

Travolta said there was "something humane" about Gotti, and that the theme of the movie is how a leader acts when fronting an organization which is expected to behave ostentatiously. Gotti managed to avoid jail time throughout the 1980s but was incarcerated for life in 1992.

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