John Travolta: 'My John Gotti film wasn't pulled from release'

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

Just ten days before John Travolta's Gotti biopic was due to be released, Lionsgate has severed all ties with the project.

"My style as an actor is to research and observe the behavior of a character and my goal was to accurately portray him to where you thought you were watching John Gotti, as I tried to do with Robert Shapiro [in The People v. OJ Simpson]", Travolta said.

But, in an interview with Deadline published Wednesday morning, Travolta pushed back, saying the speculation surrounding the fate of "Gotti" was "bordering on fake news". As Travolta tells it, he screened the film to Walson and his group - and they then purchased it on that basis.

He continued: "That is the simple explanation for this". Reports initially suggested the studio dropped the movie, sparking speculation that new allegations of sexual assault could be affect the movie. 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.

Mafia stories are normally a huge victor for both critics and cinema-goers, but it seems even this genre can't resurrect Travolta's career. The film's producers felt the same, and activated a buy-back clause in the original deal. There is said to be some buzz on Travolta's role in the film, so finding one shouldn't be a problem.

The Tracking Board, which first reported the story, notes that finding a new distributor shouldn't present a big problem. In the current social climate - with accusations of sexual misconduct being made against powerful Hollywood figures on a seemingly constant basis - some had assumed that the decision to drop Gotti might be tied to coming accusations against someone involved with the film, possibly even Travolta himself. "I learned quite a bit about the family, the mafia and how things worked in that world".

Travolta and Fiore Films were some of the constants as the film become a realization.

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