Inside Move: Miramax unsure where ‘Gangs’ will land

Scorsese, execs will continue deliberations

The fate of Miramax’s “Gangs of New York” (until recently slated for a wide bow on Dec. 21) is still up in the air.

Company originally expected to release a statement last week about the pic’s status. But execs, along with helmer Martin Scorsese, will continue strategic deliberations into this week.

Scorsese and Miramax co-topper Harvey Weinstein have been holding a few small test screenings of the cut to test audience response to the subject matter. Key scenes in the movie depict the violent draft riots of 1862, in which Americans fired on their fellow citizens. The action took place in downtown New York.

“This was a troubled time,” Weinstein observed. “Are people who’ve lived through today’s troubled times prepared to deal with this material? That’s the question Marty and I are exploring.”

One option is for Miramax to release the film in New York and Los Angeles for Oscar qualification and then hold wide release until 2002. Another possibility is to hold the film altogether for Cannes.

Weinstein said the release date is the only issue under discussion. Present length of the film is close to three hours, but Scorsese, who has final cut, still plans to do some trimming.

If it makes it out by year-end, “Gangs” will join several other big titles from Miramax during the hectic holiday season. Among them are “Amelie,” “The Shipping News” and “Kate & Leopold,” a Meg Ryan/Hugh Jackman romantic comedy now set for Dec. 21 — the former “Gangs” date.

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