In an interview with Deadline published late last night, Travolta characterised the reports on the film as "speculation bordering on fake news". "I invited his group, they saw it and bought it", Travolta said. "That is the simple explanation for this", Travolta explained to Deadline after it was reported that Lionsgate were the ones who planned to not release the movie so close to the date. John said he "begged" them to reconsider and finally they "generously" let it go. About three weeks ago, Travolta claims to have personally sought out a new financier: Edward Walson, a producer of Broadway plays who's also backed such films as Woody Allen's Café Society and Wonder Wheel. "We didn't anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong".
"My style as an actor is to research and observe the behavior of a character and my goal was to accurately portray him to where you thought you were watching John Gotti, as I tried to do with Robert Shapiro [in The People v. OJ Simpson]", Travolta said. Gotti's son, John Gotti Jr., is one of the film's executive producers.More news: Colin Kaepernick up for TIME person of the year
The film marks a big opportunity for Travolta as it allows him to explore not only Gotti's rise to fame as one of the most prolific crime bosses in New York City, but gives audiences a look at his personal and family life as well. The plan is now to give the movie a much wider release in the new year than it otherwise would have had.
The movie finds Travolta playing Gambino crime family boss Gotti, known as the Teflon Don for his ability to evade prosecution, in a long-awaited telling of his story. Gotti managed to avoid jail time throughout the 1980s but was incarcerated for life in 1992.