The Scorsese film was released by Miramax in 2002 and ended up nabbing 10 Oscar nominations, including one for Daniel Day-Lewis' turn as memorable antagonist Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. It was written by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan, and was set in the mid to late 1800s in a lower Manhattan being violently fought over by various gangs.
The show will look at gang activity at the turn of the century in New York as well as Chicago and New Orleans, serving as a portrait of the birth of organized crime in America. "Gangs of New York" co-executive producer Graham King is also involved in the potential series, which is not yet attached to a network or, you know, Netflix.
"This time and era of America’s history and heritage is rich with characters and stories that we could not fully explore in a two hour film. A television series allows us the time and creative freedom to bring this colorful world, and all the implications it had and still does on our society, to life. I am excited to partner with Miramax in telling these stories," said Scorsese in the release.
Period organized crime is a topic Scorsese is already exploring in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," which he executive produces and for which he directed the pilot. One might actually argue that that the series' insistence on splitting its focus between Atlantic City and Chicago in order to keep following Al Capone (Stephen Graham) is one of its weaker tendencies -- hopefully a show that sets out to track activity over multiple cities from the start will be able to balance itself out more.