John Travolta's Gotti Pulled Days Before Release

Emmett  Furla  Oasis Films

Lionsgate has sold the mafia movie back to the production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis, killing the film's December 15 domestic release, according to reports on Tuesday.

However, according to Travolta, who spoke to Deadline on Wednesday, this is "fake news".

Just ten days before its release, Lionsgate has pulled the John Travolta mob drama Gotti from the schedule and sold the film back to its producers, an individual with knowledge of the project has told the Tracking Board. "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". No word yet on why Lionsgate chose to drop the movie, but stay tuned... We signed this deal about three weeks ago, to purchase back the film from Lionsgate. "We didn't anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong", he told the outlet.

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John said Ed is a fan of Travolta and the Gotti story and wanted to see the movie succeed, so Ed bought the rights to the biopic. But because the movie was only set to receive a relatively tiny theatrical release via the studio's Lionsgate Premiere division (through which its genre films and day-and-date titles are typically distributed), its producers exercised a buy-back clause in the distribution contract, intent on getting the movie to a wider multiplex audience and giving it an awards-season push.

The film, directed by former Entourage co-star Kevin Connolly, stars Travolta as Gotti, the flamboyant and powerful "Teflon Don" who dominated New York's mafia scene in the 1970s and '80s and triumphed in a series of trials before he was finally sent to prison in 1992; he died in 2003.

John Travolta as John Gotti in 'Gotti'. "This is a big movie star film, with a multi-dimensional iconic character portrayed by one of the great multi-talented actors".

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