“Gotti” has been axed just ten days before its premiere. Lionsgate, who bought distribution rights to the biopic, has sold the film back to original producers Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, according to Tracking-Board. Emmett/Furla/Oasis will now seek a new buyer for the gangster film, which features John Travolta (“Pulp Fiction”) as the infamous gangster John Gotti, patriarch of the Gambino crime family.
While an official reason behind the sale hasn’t been disclosed, it’s likely a preemptive move from Lionsgate to avoid further scandal from “Gotti’s” lead actor. Travolta has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past, and it’s likely just a matter of time before another accuser comes forward. In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein controversy, Hollywood finds itself in a new world where sexual assault and harassment claims are taken seriously; perhaps Lionsgate wanted to avoid an anemic box office showing, should Travolta accusers come forward in the next few weeks.
A new distributor for “Gotti” shouldn’t be hard to find, as the film is rumored to be one of Travolta’s best in recent years. The biopic also stars Travolta’s partner Kelly Preston (“Death Sentence”) as Gotti’s wife and Stacy Keach (“Nebraska”) as his mentor. “Gotti” follows the Dapper Don’s rise to the head of the Gambino crime family, his downfall from his throne and eventual death in prison. The film is helmed by “Entourage” star Kevin Connolly off a script from Lem Dobbs (“Haywire”) and actor Leo Rossi (“Analyze This”), according to EW. The film will likely be released sometime in 2018 instead of Lionsgate’s former premiere date of Dec. 15.
Watch the trailer for “Gotti” below.