Taking a leaf from Donald Trump’s playbook, John Travolta has said that word that his biopic about mobster John Gotti being pulled from release is ‘fake news’.
Reports emerged yesterday that Lionsgate, the studio set to release the film, had dropped it from its schedule just 10 days ahead of its release date.
But speaking to Deadline, the Pulp Fiction star has slammed the rumours and tried to clear up the confusion, saying that he has brokered his own deal to get the movie a wider release than Lionsgate was planning.
He says he’s done so by securing funding from producer Edward Walson, who’s helped movies by Woody Allen to the screen, as well as a host of Broadway plays.
“Unfortunately, the reports were speculation bordering on fake news,” Travolta 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 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. They said no, twice, and I literally begged them to reconsider and they finally and generously let it go.
“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.”
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.
But he was eventually convicted for a host of murders, as well as extortion, racketeering and tax evasion, and died in prison in 2002.
The movie also stars Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston as Gotti’s wife Victoria, and Stacy Keach as Gotti’s mentor Aniello Dellacroce.