‘Gangs’ gone from Miramax’s Oscar run

Scorsese pic not a contender for a statue this year

NEW YORK — Oscar will not have the chance to consider Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” this year.

After pulling the film from its slated Dec. 21 bow (Daily Variety, Oct. 9), Miramax had flirted with the idea of releasing the pic for a brief and limited Oscar run. But a source close to the studio has confirmed that Miramax has nixed such a plan.

It’s still uncertain when next year the pic will be released, and whether it will unspool at the Cannes Intl. Film Festival. But it’s believed distrib is eyeing a summer-release slotting.

Also unclear is which companies, if any, will lose money because of the date change and the nixed Oscar run. Initial Entertainment Group created an limited liability company to finance $65 million of the pic’s estimated $90 million budget.

That money — cobbled together from international distribs in exchange for specific international rights — is sitting in a bank. It will not be paid out until the pic is released in the respective territories.

In pushing off an Oscar run until next year, Miramax is buying ample opportunity to launch the pic and give Scorsese the best possible shot for a best director kudo. The director has been nominated numerous times and has yet to walk home with an Oscar.

“If Marty (Scorsese) and Harvey (Weinstein) feel that the film needs to be moved, then we will respect that,” IEG’s Graham King told Daily Variety.

Outside of “Gangs,” Miramax has several Oscar contenders this year, which may have factored into Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s decision-making process.

Miramax’s Oscar hopefuls include “Amelie,” which one source said the studio may try and qualify for both best foreign film and best film categories; “The Shipping News,” starring Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey and helmed by Lasse Halstrom; and “Kate & Leopold,” starring Meg Ryan and now set for a Dec. 21 bow.

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