‘Gangs’ looks to 2002

Miramax may shift pic

It’s all but certain “Gangs of New York” won’t get a wide bow in 2001, though there’s a small chance it still could get a limited Academy-consideration release in late December.

No one at the company would comment on the prospect of a date change, and a spokesman stressed the original slotting still stood Wednesday. But Miramax recently moved a wide debut for Meg Ryan-Hugh Jackman toplined “Kate & Leopold” to Dec. 21, so it’s unthinkable the distrib would stick to that same date with high-profile Leonardo DiCaprio starrer “Gangs.”

Post-prod would have to be accelerated for any such release date on “Gangs.” So, though Miramax had envisioned making pic an Oscar magnet, the likeliest scenario is that the pricey Martin Scorsese epic will be held completely for wide release sometime in 2002.

It’s believed “Gang” currently runs about three hours in length, and Miramax co-topper Harvey Weinstein — who recently screened pic for the first time — wants running time cut to no more than 2:30.

Distrib is also said to be daunted by prospect of marketing such a gritty drama at a Christmastime when Americans likely will remain preoccupied by thoughts of the recent tragedies in New York and Washington, D.C. A Miramax decision on pic should come within days.

Sometime in the first quarter is now the likeliest slotting for a wide “Gangs” bow.

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