Lionsgate Drops 'Gotti' Biopic Starring John Travolta 10 Days Before Release

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

A biopic on the life of NY mob boss John Gotti shot in Cincinnati will not be released December 14 as planned, reports indicate. It was never a matter of Lionsgate dumping the film. He and Lionsgate had mutually cancelled its rollout, and he had then bought it back off them so it could get a wider release with a different distributor in producer Edward Walson. The group produced Gotti with Highland Film Group and Fiore Films.

As for Travolta's role, the Pulp Fiction actor plays John Gotti, an American gangster who became the boss of the Gambino crime family in NYC in the 1970's. The report does not indicate exactly why the film was dropped, but it is likely because it is probably not as good as the studio as hoped or that, especially considering the current pressure around Hollywood at the moment, some allegations have come up which the studio felt they couldn't support.

"Lionsgate was planning on a minimal release and I did an investigation into people who might have the interest and financial wherewithal to better release it", Travolta explained. They said no, twice, and I literally begged them to reconsider and they finally and generously let it go.

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The Tracking Board, which first reported the story, notes that finding a new distributor shouldn't present a big problem. There may be a simple explanation for that, as an outside investor reportedly financially backed the film for a wide release, and it's unclear exactly when they did that. Our mistake was we should have said something right then and discussed our plan for the film.

'There are nice cars and fancy suits in the movie, but we're also showing where all that eventually leads, ' Connolly previously told EW.

Simply titled Gotti, the film was set to be released on December 15 by Lionsgate subsidiary Lionsgate Premiere, which customarily does limited theatrical runs in tandem with day-and-date video-on-demand debuts. The project took several years to find funding, with several financiers having dropped out along the way.

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