'Gangs' hits overtime, forces delay for Dreamworks pic

“Catch Me If You Can” is turning out to be a more than apt title for the story of Frank Abagnale Jr: The DreamWorks action comedy about the youngest fugitive ever on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted was to have been Leonardo DiCaprio’s next picture before anticipated strikes of both the WGA and SAG this spring.

But now, a spokeswoman for the studio confirms, DiCaprio’s current pic, Miramax’s “Gangs of New York,” is running at least two weeks over sked in Rome — thereby torpedoing the studio’s chances of shooting “Catch Me” before the anticipated strikes.

As of late Sunday, DreamWorks’ execs, producers Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Magellin Filmed Entertainment’s Michel Shane, were in negotiations with the DiCaprio camp to make the movie his first post-strike pic.

But insiders say that postponing “Catch Me” may eliminate “Catch’s” helmer, Gore Verbinski (“Mouse Hunt”), who is eager to make a picture before the strikes. Lingering longer for Leo would also nix the availability of several other actors with whom the studio has been in talks, such as “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, who can only shoot on hiatus.

Insiders familiar with the DiCaprio camp say that while the “Gangs” star might understandably welcome a vacation from the 16-hour days on the Scorsese set — which will likely stretch into 22 weeks of lensing — DiCaprio’s also not entirely comfortable with ramming a picture through just to beat a strike deadline.

“He (DiCaprio) just doesn’t believe that the creative process should be held hostage in order to meet a strike deadline,” said one insider in the DiCaprio camp.

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