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

Lynette Rowe
December 8, 2017

A biopic on the life of NY mob boss John Gotti shot in Cincinnati will not be released December 14 as planned, reports indicate.

"The Tracking Board's Jeff Sneider first reported the news, further indicating that producers will seek new distribution soon", EW said. He then explained to the site that "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. [Producer] Ed [Walson] is a fan of mine and of the Gotti story and really wanted to see the movie". As Travolta tells it, he screened the film to Walson and his group - and they then purchased it on that basis. On Wednesday, Travolta released a statement to Deadline in which he called the reports that his movie was "abruptly" pulled "grossly wrong". An outside investor has backed Gotti so that it could get a wide release in May, and Lionsgate was generous to let the film go. The film's producers felt the same, and activated a buy-back clause in the original deal.

Travolta and Wilson will now look for a new theatrical distributor.

If you were eagerly anticipating the release of the biopic about famed mobster John Gotti, you're going to have to keep waiting.

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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.

Directed by former Entourage actor Kevin Connolly, using a script penned by Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi, Gotti began shooting in July of past year. They will submit to Cannes as an official submission, but they hope the film will premiere at the movie festival one way or another. Gotti managed to avoid jail time throughout the 1980s but was incarcerated for life in 1992.

Entourage star Kevin Connolly, who directed Gotti, also slammed a report regarding the film on Twitter.

"Not knowing anything about the release plans, I saw the film and loved it, especially John's portrayal as Gotti".

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