Release delayed for Gotti biopic filmed in Tri

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

John Travolta has slammed reports his latest movie Gotti was shelved at the last minute, labelling the speculation as "fake news'".

John Travolta-starrer "Gotti" has been dropped by Lionsgate ten days prior to its domestic release.

SFGate's The Wrap reports that producers bought back the film because they wanted a "wide release" - not one at select theaters only, as Lionsgate planned. "It wasn't easy to get Lionsgate to give it up", said Travolta, continuing to explain, "They said no, twice, and I literally begged them to reconsider and they finally and generously let it go".

Travolta said Gotti is worth a more significant release and so he sought out Edward Walson to buy out Lionsgate for the rights to distribute and promote the film. "We didn't anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong", Travolta told Deadline.

The feature film directorial debut of Entourage star Kevin Connelly, Gotti showcases what is described as a breakout performance Travolta as the Teflon Don, head of the Gambino crime syndicate that became the racketeering/loansharking/murder-extortion scourge of '80s NY. By contrast, Gotti's producers actually asked the distributor to sell them back the rights to the film, in order to try and pursue a wide theatrical release.

John Travolta has rubbished claims his upcoming movie about mobster John Gotti has been dumped. Source Getty
John Travolta has rubbished claims his upcoming movie about mobster John Gotti has been dumped. Source Getty

John Travolta was once the biggest star in Hollywood.

Entourage actor (and member of Leonardo DiCaprio's notorious Pussy Posse) Kevin Connolly directed the movie from a script co-written by The Limey writer Lem Dobbs and The Accused actor Leo Rossi. HBO released Gotti: The Rise and Fall of a Real Life Mafia Don in 1996 starring Armand Assante as the crime boss. Gotti's son, John Gotti Jr., is one of the film's executive producers.

The production - which centres on Gotti's life over the course of three decades- had been in development for years, with rumours of Travolta taking the lead role circulating since 2011.

But he was eventually convicted for a host of murders, as well as extortion, racketeering and tax evasion, and died in prison in 2002.

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