Director Martin Scorsese’s historical drama Gangs of New York is getting the TV treatment. The 2002 film, which chronicled the gang prevalence in 19th century New York, was the culmination of over twenty years of development, as an adaptation of Herbert Asbury’s 1928 book The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld had been a passion project for the filmmaker for years.
The massive three-year production of the film wasn’t exactly a smooth ride, with Scorsese battling for artistic freedom while encountering production delays, budget overruns, and the ire of Harvey Weinstein. Even so, the finished product is an entertaining piece of period filmmaking that boasts a wonderfully devilish performance from Daniel Day-Lewis and some truly breathtaking production design. Hit the jump for more on the prospect of a Gangs of New York TV show.
As Scorsese had been developing numerous iterations of Gangs of New York for two decades, there’s certainly plenty of material to mine for a TV adaptation. Per The Wrap, the show will center on the events surrounding organized gangs in the late 19th century, not only in New York but also in other cities like Chicago and New Orleans. Scorsese offered the following statement:
“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.”
Scorsese’s first foray into television was directing the pilot for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, on which he is also credited as an executive producer. It’s exciting to see that the filmmaker’s bold vision for Gangs of New York can finally live on in the television world, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Miramax set the series up at HBO. As of this time, though, the show is not attached to a specific network. Hopefully we hear more soon.