Martin Scorsese Brings Immigrant Knife Fights to TV for 'Gangs of New York'

[caption id="attachment_171770" align="alignleft" width="300"]Miramax Miramax[/caption]

The 2002 film "Gangs of New York" was Martin Scorsese's long-gestating (since 1977) attempt to capture the bloody strife between Irish immigrants and Nativists in New York's Five Points district (what is now mostly Chinatown) during the height of the Civil War. It was epic, it was nominated for Best Picture, it was an expensive nightmare to make.

Apparently Scorsese didn't quite get the whole story out of his system, however, since Deadline reports he is teaming up with his old antagonists at Miramax to bring "Gangs of New York" to television with the same lavish scope and violence that he lent HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."

"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. "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."

That phrase "creative freedom" is probably key, since Scorsese fought tooth-and-nail with Miramax big enchilada Harvey Weinstein throughout the movie's production, mirroring the conflict between Leonardo DiCaprio's Amsterdam and Daniel Day-Lewis' mustachioed Bill The Butcher. Indeed, Weinstein did much to butcher Scorsese's vision, cutting nearly an hour from the film's running time and delaying it a year.

It can be presumed that much of the historical background culled from Herbert Asbury's 1928 tome "The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld" will be weaved into the series, finally allowing Scorsese the opportunity to best Weinstein once and for all after the producer (metaphorically) put his head in a vice, "Casino"-style.

Are audiences actually clamoring for a follow-up to a film that most found mildly underwhelming? Probably not, but Scorsese is such a national treasure that if he wanted to do "Taxi Driver on Ice!" live at Radio City Music Hall — with the full Rockettes kickline — he should be allowed.