After previously being bought back from its distributor Lionsgate, John Travolta-fronted mob biopic Gotti secures a new release date. Filmed in 2016, Gotti was originally set to be released last December. However, that didn't end up happening, due to producers being unhappy with the release the film was set to receive. Lionsgate - through its Lionsgate Premiere imprint - was planning to give Gotti a limited theatrical release, day and date with a VOD release. Producers decided to buy back the rights to the film, and pursue a distributor that would offer a wide theatrical release.
Things have been quiet on the Gotti release front ever since, but now it looks like those behind the film were indeed able to secure the deal they desired. It's not hard to imagine why producers thought they would be able to work out a wide release, as while Travolta may not be the guaranteed moneymaker he was in decades past, he's still a huge name with a devoted fan following. Plus, Gotti's titular "teflon don" is one of the most famous figures in the history of organized crime, and - barring a 1996 HBO original movie - has never been the subject of a feature film.
The news of Gotti's new theatrical release date was revealed earlier today on Instagram by the film's director Kevin Connolly. Gotti will now arrive on June 15, right in the middle of summer blockbuster season. For the record, yes it's the same Kevin Connolly that played "E" on HBO comedy Entourage. While he's best known for his work in front of the camera, Gotti will actually be Connolly's third directorial effort in the feature realm, after having already directed multiple episodes of both Entourage and his prior sitcom Unhappily Ever After.
Interestingly enough, Travolta seems to be developing a penchant for working with directors one might not expect. In addition to being directed by Entourage star Connolly in Gotti, Travolta recently signed on to play the villain in upcoming thriller Moose, directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. Like Durst though, Connolly also has a lot more directing experience than most would probably expect, so perhaps Travolta simply feels like they know what they're doing and he's in good hands.
One thing that has yet to be revealed though is who exactly came aboard as Gotti's new wide distributor. Connolly's post doesn't say, and no further information has been forthcoming. Connolly's post also doesn't specify that the June 15 release is a wide one, but considering that the whole point of buying the film back from Lionsgate was to get it a wide release, one assumes it's likely the case. After all the effort involved in positioning Gotti, here's hoping the actual film is worth it.
Gotti whacks theaters on June 15.
Source: Kevin Connolly