Gangs Of New York is getting the TV treatment because, well because Hollywood is completely out of ideas, that’s why.
Miramax Television is basing the series on Martin Scorcese’s 2002 movie which was adapted from the 1927 Herbert Asbury book of the same name. Scorcese is set to return as executive producer and will direct a couple of episodes too.
Same Ol’ Same Ol’
According to Deadline, the details about the series are sketchy but we are expecting to… drum roll please… see a new take on the story with new characters. Will these people ever learn?
Gangs Of New York starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, John C. Reilly, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Henry Thomas, Jim Broadbent, and many more. At this point, none of the original cast is expected to return.
However, if recent history has taught us anything about “new takes” is when this inevitably fails because it takes the source material and craps all over it, expect a few big star cameos to be wheeled out in order to garner interest – yeah, I’m looking at you Qui Gon Jinn!
Asbury’s book details the confrontations between rival gangs in New York in the mid-to-late-1800s and focuses on the saloon halls, gambling dens, and winding alleys of the Bowery and the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan.
The book tells the stories of destitution and violence of a turbulent era when infamous gangs including the Plug Uglies, Dead Rabbits, and Bowery Boys ruled the streets. It includes a rogues’ gallery of prostitutes, pimps, poisoners, pickpockets, murderers, and thieves. It’s refreshing to see how much New York has changed since the 1800s.
Gangs Of New York is not one of the movies I immediately think of when discussing Martin Scorsese. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie, but it’s not one that I found memorable. I will admit though, I’ve not seen it for a while and need to revisit it but it does generally receives positive reviews.
Naturally, Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as Bill The Butcher was highly acclaimed and the film received ten nominations at the 75th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Scorsese, and Best Actor for Day-Lewis. It won nothing.
This would certainly not be Scorcese’s first TV series to tackle gangs and violence. He was the executive producer for the excellent HBO drama Boardwalk Empire, and he won an Emmy for directing the pilot episode.
If in the right hands, this has the potential to be another great violent gang-related series like the aforementioned Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, and arguably the greatest show ever created for TV, The Sopranos. Only time will tell I suppose.