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Martin Scorsese to Direct ‘Gangs of New York’ TV Series

The Oscar winner will helm the first two episodes of the series adapted from his 2002 film.

Gangs of New York

“The Gangs of New York”


Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese is executive producing a “Gangs of New York” TV series after helming the 2002 feature film.

Based on Herbert Asbury’s 1927 nonfiction book, “The Gangs of New York” follows the rival gangs of late-1800s New York City. Scorsese is set to direct the first two episodes of the series, which was developed internally at Miramax TV and penned by playwright and TV writer Brett Leonard (“Taboo,” “Fear the Walking Dead”).

Per Deadline, the upcoming series will not center on the same characters as the film, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Cameron Diaz. Scorsese’s managers Rick Yorn and Chris Donnelly are also executive producing the upcoming show, which will be taken out to buyers in November.

Scorsese previously was attached to a 2013 TV adaptation of “The Gangs of New York,” which would have expanded the portrayal to gangs in other major metropolitan areas at the turn of the century, including Chicago and New Orleans. It would’ve also charted the birth of organized crime in America.

“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,” Scorsese said at the time of the former announcement. “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.”

The “Age of Innocence” and “Goodfellas” director previously executive produced the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and won an Emmy for directing the pilot episode set in the Prohibition era. Scorsese is also producing the Hulu adaptation of Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City,” which was originally set to be directed by Todd Field and starring Keanu Reeves. Both dropped out of the project recently.

Scorsese was recently present at the New York Film Festival to present his New York Dolls documentary “Personality Crisis: One Night Only,” co-directed by David Tedeschi. In his introductory remarks, Scorsese railed against the current obsession over box office numbers for theatrical releases, saying, “Cinema is devalued, demeaned, belittled from all sides, not necessarily the business side but certainly the art. Since the ’80s, there’s been a focus on numbers. It’s kind of repulsive. The cost of a movie is one thing. Understand that a film costs a certain amount, they expect to at least get the amount back, plus, again. The emphasis is now on numbers, cost, the opening weekend, how much it made in the U.S.A., how much it made in England, how much it made in Asia, how much it made in the entire world, how many viewers it got.”

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