If ever there was a phrase that needs to be set on fire, shot in the head, and then throw out of a tall building and into a dumpster that should then be buried under a motorway, it's fake news.
Not the least because it's Donald Trump's catchphrase, but now it's a catch-all term for stories that people don't like. Case in point is John Travolta and the debacle surrounding the John Gotti biopic. As was reported just yesterday, Lionsgate pulled the release of the film from its slate and sold the film back to its producers. Lionsgate released no statement on the matter, but as you can imagine in the current climate, the rumour mill went off on one.
In an interview with Deadline published late last night, Travolta characterised the reports on the film as "speculation bordering on fake news." (shudder)
According to Travolta, "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." Travolta then recruited Edward Walson, who previously acted as a producer on a number of Woody Allen films, including Blue Jasmine and the upcoming Wonder Wheel. As Travolta tells it, he screened the film to Walson and his group - and they then purchased it on that basis.
"That is the simple explanation for this. It wasn’t dropped. 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. We signed this deal about three weeks ago, to purchase back the film from Lionsgate. Our mistake was we should have said something right then and discussed our plan for the film. We didn’t anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong."
Walson has said that he's planning on taking the film to Cannes, and then securing a wide release for the film after that - so who knows, really? Here's the trailer for the film that was released a few months ago.