Entertainment Mystery Surrounds Fate of John Travolta's 'Gotti' Movie

01:25  08 december  2017
01:25  08 december  2017 Source:   The Hollywood Reporter

Lionsgate Takes John Travolta’s ‘Gotti’ Off Schedule, Sells Back to Production Company

  Lionsgate Takes John Travolta’s ‘Gotti’ Off Schedule, Sells Back to Production Company Biopic about life of Mafia boss John Gotti was set for release Dec. 15TheWrap has also learned that the removal from the schedule and resale was not related to the film itself, but rather a question of release strategy. At Lionsgate, "Gotti" was to be distributed through speciality division Lionsgate Premiere, with day and date release set for Dec. 15.

It’s the big question ricocheting around Hollywood: Why did a film company suddenly cut ties with John Travolta ’ s John Gotti biopic, leaving the movie without a distributor 10 days before its release date?

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John Travolta Cries Foul Over “Fake News” Reports On Mafia Movie ‘Gotti’

  John Travolta Cries Foul Over “Fake News” Reports On Mafia Movie ‘Gotti’ EXCLUSIVE: John Travolta told Deadline he is upset that fast-spreading news reports twisted the truth as Lionsgate pulled his upcoming film Gotti off its release calendar 10 days before its bow. He worried the reports marginalized what he considers one of his better performances as the iconic Gambino crime family head John Gotti in the Kevin Connolly-directed film. Given how the subject matter lends itself to phrases from mob movies, it’s easy to see how the blogosphere might speculate this film would, well, sleep with the fishes. The truth is far different, Travolta said.

In a highly unusual move, a company has decided not to distribute John Travolta ' s new drama about mobster John Gotti , which was due for release Dec. Mystery surrounds John Travolta ’ s new movie — pulled just 10 days before release.

John Travolta is filming his upcoming movie , 'The Life & Death of John Gotti '. Travolta plays the infamous mob boss and former head of the Gambino crime family. (CNN) John Travolta has transformed himself into the Dapper Don.

John Travolta's new movie Gotti, which was pulled earlier this week from its scheduled Dec. 15 release, is now caught up in a mystery about what exactly is happening with the long-in-development biopic, in which the actor stars as mobster John Gotti.

Lionsgate Premiere, the studio's label that specializes in releases that debut with limited theatrical runs as they become simultaneously available on video-on-demand, dropped the film from its schedule just 10 days before it was due to open. That immediately triggered speculation online that the distributor had lost faith in the film. But Keya Morgan, an executive producer on the movie, bristles at the suggestion Lionsgate dumped the film, saying that its producers bought it back so they can arrange for a wider theatrical release.

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john - travolta - john - gotti - movie -ffn-3. John Travolta looks dapper while filming his latest movie project “The Life & Death of John Gotti ” in Manhattan’ s East Village area on February 22, 2017 (FameFLyNet).

It’s the big question ricocheting around Hollywood: Why did a film company suddenly cut ties with John Travolta ’ s John Gotti biopic, leaving the movie without a distributor 10 days before its release date?

"It's a masterpiece. It's one of the best mob movies I've seen in 40 years," Morgan says. "We pulled it, not the other way around. We did two recent screenings and had amazing feedback. We had only had four to five days left in the contract to get the film out of their hands."

Travolta in 'Gotti'© Steve Sands/GC Images/Getty Images Travolta in 'Gotti' Lionsgate declined to comment but confirmed that Gotti had been extricated from the studio by the filmmakers.

Morgan says he raised $50 million from financiers including Edward Walson (Woody Allen's Cafe Society) to regain control of the film. They paid Lionsgate $4.5 million for U.S. rights. The remaining money would go to a wide-release prints-and-advertising campaign.

Still, it is incredibly rare for a distributor to sell a movie back to a producer just days before its release. And given the current climate in Hollywood in the wake of the sprawling sex harassment scandal, as high-profile industry figures are being scrutinized for any past sexual misdeeds, there has been speculation that Lionsgate offloading the film could be a pre-emptive move if one of the principals behind the film is under investigation. Kevin Connolly, best known as the star of Entourage, directed the feature starring Travolta and wife Kelly Preston as Gotti's wife Victoria.

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It’s the big question ricocheting around Hollywood: Why did a film company suddenly cut ties with John Travolta ’ s John Gotti biopic, leaving the movie without a distributor 10 days before its release date?

It’s the big question ricocheting around Hollywood: Why did a film company suddenly cut ties with John Travolta ’ s John Gotti biopic, leaving the movie without a distributor 10 days before its release date?

But Morgan is adamant that "this has nothing to with scandal, sex, anything like that. I have documentation that we were dying to pull this film back, and I had to beg and John had to beg to get this film back," he says.

Radar Online did recently unearth a 2000 police report involving Travolta that detailed a claim that the actor groped and assaulted a masseuse at a Palm Springs hotel. According to the report, the officer who investigated the alleged incident said the claim did not meet the criteria for sexual battery. The case was subsequently "closed unfounded." Travolta also was the subject of a 2012 lawsuit in which two massage therapists accused the actor of sexual assault. At the time, Travolta's attorney Marty Singer called the allegations "a complete fiction and fabrication, " adding, "None of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred."

Travolta also recently left his long-time agency CAA, which has been drawn into in the Harvey Weinstein assault and harassment scandal via its representation of the producer's company and its role in sending actresses to Weinstein hotel meetings. CAA declined to comment, but the decision to leave was Travolta's, according to one source.

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