Looks like this month is about to get a whole lot less merry for one jettisoned project, as the Tracking Board reports that Lionsgate has dropped its John Travolta-starring mob drama “Gotti” just ten days before its scheduled release. A source revealed to the outlet that the film has also been sold back to its producers, Emmett/Furla/Oasis, which produced the film alongside Highland Film Group and Fiore Films.
The film was slated to debut under the Lionsgate Premiere banner next week, but has now been pulled from the release schedule until a new distributor can be found. The outlet adds that the producers will soon start that process, and the film will likely be moved to a 2018 date.
“Gotti” was directed by “Entourage” star Kevin Connolly, and boasts a supporting cast that includes Kelly Preston, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Stacy Keach, and Spencer Lofranco.
The film reportedly offered Travolta a meaty role, as it tracks not just Gotti’s rise to fame as the head of the Gambino crime family, but also offers a closer examination of how his life of crime impacted his son, John Gotti Jr. (Lofranco), who ultimately chose to leave life as a “made man.” The film is at least partially based on Jr.’s own story, as he sold his life rights to the project years ago.
The film was written by Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi, and was finally greenlit nearly two years ago after a lengthy — and often fraught — development period. Over the years, a number of actors were attached to the project, including Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Lindsay Lohan, and Anthony Hopkins, along with directors Nick Cassavetes, Joe Johnston, and Barry Levinson, though financing continually proved to be a problem.
The film started production in July of 2016.