John Travolta says Gotti movie being pulled is 'fake news'

John Travolta says Gotti movie being pulled is 'fake news'

John Travolta says Gotti movie being pulled is 'fake news'

Gotti - a mob biopic starring John Travolta - was abruptly dropped by distributor Lionsgate yesterday, and that sudden move has now been explained.

Executives at Lionsgate have reportedly sold the project back to bosses at the production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis.

"Unfortunately, the reports were speculation bordering on fake news", Travolta tells Deadline.

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. They said no, twice, and I literally begged them to reconsider and they finally and generously let it go. About three weeks ago, Travolta claims to have personally sought out a new financier: Edward Walson, a producer of Broadway plays who's also backed such films as Woody Allen's Café Society and Wonder Wheel. According to the actor, "Our mistake was we should have said something right then and discussed our plan for the film", adding, "We didn't anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong". And he strenuously denied that Lionsgate had made a decision to back out of releasing the film out of concern for Travolta's long-standing ties to the Church of Scientology or recently unearthed accusations of sexual misconduct.

The makers are now hunting for new distributors.

John Travolta was once the biggest star in Hollywood.

The movie finds Travolta playing Gambino crime family boss Gotti, known as the Teflon Don for his ability to evade prosecution, in a long-awaited telling of his story.

John Gotti, right, arrives at court morning of Feb.9, 1990.

Walson has said that he's planning on taking the film to Cannes, and then securing a wide release for the film after that - so who knows, really? There is said to be some buzz on Travolta's role in the film, so finding one shouldn't be a problem. The jury continued to debated charges that Gotti ordered the assault on John F. Connor, former vice president of Carpenters Union Local 608.

"It's a bold move", she continued.

The trailer for the film can be viewed below.

Representatives for Travolta and Connolly did not return EW's request for comment.

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