Just 10 days before the John Gotti biopic, Gotti, was set to be released, Lionsgate Premiere reportedly sold the movie back to its production company, Emmett/Furla/Oasis. However, the film’s star John Travolta, isn’t happy that the news makes it sound like the film was cut. He says that he actually worked on getting a bigger producer to buy the film — and it worked.
“Unfortunately, the reports were speculation bordering on fake news,” the actor told Deadline. “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. Ed [Walson] is a fan of mine and of the Gotti story and really wanted 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 easy to get Lionsgate to give it up.”
Travolta then revealed that Lionsgate said “no” twice but eventually let it go after he begged them. “We signed this deal about three weeks ago, to purchase back the film from Lionsgate. Our mistake was we should have said something right then and discussed our plan for the film. We didn’t anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong,” he told the outlet.
Walson and Travolta revealed they are near a deal with a larger distributor for the film and plan to submit it to the Cannes Film Festival. “This is a big movie-star film, with a multi-dimensional, iconic character portrayed by one of the great multi-talented actors,” Walson said. “We are hoping to take this movie to Cannes; it’s a movie-star film that deserves the glitter of Cannes and then a wide release shortly thereafter.”
Gotti was originally set to be released on December 15.