It turns out that, at one point, Martin Scorsese’s ambitious period epic “Gangs Of New York” ran a full hour longer than the version that made it to theaters.
Speaking at a TIFF dinner with Vulture, producer Harvey Weinstein reminisced about the issues facing ‘Gangs’ during its production over a decade ago:
“So Marty presents the final cut of the movie to me as a final-cut director and it’s three hours and thirty-six minutes. If you thought there was action in ‘Gangs of New York’ the movie, you should have seen that editing room.
But we got the movie down to two hours and 36, and if you hear the DVD commentary, Marty goes into details about how we worked on the film. He’s very complimentary, but at the same time, he says it was ‘a process’ – and normally, Marty doesn’t like process.
The end of the story, he says it himself, is that the movie was a big success: ten Academy Award nominations, it grossed $200 million dollars, it revived his career after a couple of mishaps.”
Scorsese himself hasn’t talked much about the alternate version, and Weinstein says there’s no plans for a release of that extended cut:
[Scorsese] says, ‘You think I’m that fucking stupid that I’m gonna put out the director’s cut at three hours and 36 minutes? That would prove Harvey’s a genius!. By the way, that’s how final cut works.”