Scorsese Gangs Moved Back Again

Martin Scorceses "Gangs of New York" has been pushed back again to a christmas release, reports Variety. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, recent Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent ("Iris"), Liam Neeson, Pete Postlewaite, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, Liam Carney and Ford Keirnan.

After months of sometimes vexed negotiations over the release date and running time of Martin Scorsese's 19th century epic "Gangs of New York," Miramax and Scorsese have reached a consensus.

It will now bow at Christmas week. The film's running time, which once stood at nearly three hours, has been trimmed to under two hours and 40 minutes.

Disclosure of the release date and running time would seem to refute a story that the New York Times played on its Sunday edition front page headlined "Two Hollywood Titans Brawl Over a Gang Epic." Story suggests that fights over running time were continuing; the combatants supposedly are Harvey Weinstein and his director Martin Scorsese, both New York-based.

A new ending might be shot, according to the story, and no release date had been chosen. The article also put the budget at $103 million, vastly lower than insiders anticipate.

Speculation has circulated recently that Miramax would screen a segment of the pic -- perhaps a 25-minute excerpt -- at Cannes, but the company has no official plans for that.

Miramax has a lot riding on the pic. Its scenes of explicit street violence in downtown Manhattan gave its producers second thoughts about releasing the pic soon after Sept. 11.

But as the release date has dragged out -- a costly process for a pic budgeted at close to $100 million -- Miramax co-head Harvey Weinstein and Scorsese have dickered over final cut.

That debate appears to have finally been resolved. Though tiny elements of the film may still be tweaked before its release, the final edit is now locked in.

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