The group produced Gotti with Highland Film Group and Fiore Films.
According to Deadline's sanctioned report, this is good news because Lionsgate Premiere wasn't going to give the film a wide release - it was going limited and On Demand Dec. 15 - but the Gotti producers decided they wanted to give the movie a wider release. The production company reportedly exercised a buy back clause so that they could give it a bigger push.
"Our mistake was we should have said something right then, and discussed our plan for the film", Travolta said. And he strenuously denied that Lionsgate had chose to back out of releasing the film out of concern for Travolta's long-standing ties to the Church of Scientology or recently unearthed accusations of sexual misconduct.
Speaking about the movie recently, Connolly told Entertainment Weekly: "There are nice cars and fancy suits in the movie, but we're also showing where all that eventually leads".
Gotti - a mob biopic starring John Travolta - was abruptly dropped by distributor Lionsgate yesterday, and that sudden move has now been explained.
Gotti was likely meant as an Oscar vehicle for Travolta, who impressed in his Emmy-nominated turn as Robert Shapiro in the anthology TV series The People v. OJ: American Crime Story. The film will be directed by Kevin Connolly, best known as talent manager Eric Murphy in the "Entourage" franchise.
Gotti managed to avoid jail time throughout the 1980s but was sent to jail for life in 1992. 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 was aware of it, because his fame paralleled when I became famous, but why was he so adored?"
John Gotti, right, arrives at court morning of Feb.9, 1990.