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Is the mob secretly to blame for the canceled release of John Travolta's Gotti movie? That's the dramatic way one tabloid is trying to spin it. But Gossip Cop can explain how there's more to the story.

According to the National Enquirer, Travolta's "biopic about Mafia kingpin John Gotti is sleeping with the fishes after it got whacked by the mob." It's specifically alleged that the "same old-school Cosa Nostra thugs who hated the Dapper Don's lust for the spotlight ordered a hit on the movie." As evidence, the supermarket tabloid points to Lionsagate Premiere calling off the film's limited release roughly 10 days before the movie was supposed to hit theaters.

While the gossip magazine acknowledges Travolta said the flick was pulled from the schedule so it can get a larger release at a future date, the outlet maintains "sources said the real reason the film 'disappeared' is a lot more sinister." One so-called "snitch" is quoted as saying, "The boys don't like publicity. They want to do their thing under the radar... A studio doesn't walk away from that kind of investment without some strong persuasion."

But the film hasn't actually "disappeared" and nothing was done "under the radar." On the contrary, this development received worldwide publicity. As for Lionsgate giving up its release, it didn't do so because of secret Mafia pressure. The distributor was actually paid a substantial amount of money, through a new financier corralled by Travolta, for the producers to get the rights back.

After multiple outlets wrongly speculated the canceled release meant the project was now dead, Travolta himself told Deadline that such claims were "bordering on fake news." In actuality, he explained, "Lionsgate was planning on a minimal release, and I did an investigation into people who might have the interest and financial wherewithal to better release it." He even noted, "It wasn't easy to get Lionsgate to give it up. They said no, twice, and I literally begged them to reconsider and they finally and generously let it go."

If, as the tabloid claims, the mob had a "hit on the movie" and "whacked" it, there wouldn't still be intentions for a future release. But, in fact, Travolta and his cohorts are now hoping Gotti is shown at next year's Cannes Film Festival. While the plans have yet to be finalized, the film is hardly "sleeping with the fishes" at this point. It seems the National Enquirer simply went with its "sinister" Mafia angle for the sake of scandal.

After all, this is the same publication that last year tried to get people to believe Travolta was going on "secret dates" with Caitlyn Jenner. Truth-telling is not the magazine's specialty. The same goes for RadarOnline, its sister outlet, which picked up this false narrative about the mob making the film "disappear." Two wrongs don't make a right.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop believes there to be elements of truth, but the story is ultimately misleading.


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