John Travolta Slaps Back

December 7, 2017 - 6:45am Updated: December 14, 2017 - 9:26am

John Travolta is clarifying news that broke on Tuesday about his upcoming John Gotti biopic. The film, directed by Entourage star Kevin Connolly, was sold back to production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis by Lionsgate, which initially planned to distribute it for a December 15th bow in theaters.

Travolta, who plays the titular character in Gotti, tells Deadline that the manner in which the news was reported borders on "fake," and claims that he was the one to pull the plug on the release, not Lionsgate.

  • "Unfortunately, the reports were speculation bordering on fake news," Travolta tells 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."
  • Travolta has teamed up with producer Edward Walson, who financed the Lionsgate buyout. They are close to shaking on a new release deal with a distributor, Travolta says.
  • The Gotti movie has been several years in the making and is said to cover Teflon Don and his many decades as the head of the Gambino crime family. (He eventually got sent to prison in 1992 and died there in 2002). Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, plays his onscreen wife, Victoria Gotti.


  • Meanwhile, Apple's "intelligent personal assistant" Siri is telling users that Travolta died nearly a decade ago.
  • When asked how old John Travolta is, Siri replies (according to multiple reports): "John Travolta died January 3, 2009 at age 54."