As an ironclad candidate for being named the single greatest director of all-time with a track record of acclaim and a string of classics dating back almost half a century, Martin Scorsese doesn’t seem like the sort of filmmaker who’d need to fight tooth and nail to see their passion project made real, but that’s exactly what happened with Gangs of New York.
The noted enemy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was instantly enamored as far back as 1970 having devoured Herbert Asbury’s Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld, and he closed a deal for the rights nine years later. And yet, it wouldn’t be until 2002 that the movie finally made it to the big screen in all of its majestically grandiose glory.
During that time virtually every major studio – which included Disney, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount, and Universal – all opted against making the film before the disgraced Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax ended up stepping in and footing the $100 million bill.
The end result was an epic for the ages, albeit one that bizarrely ended up walking home without a trophy from the Academy Awards despite landing nominations in 10 categories, and under-performed at the box office to boot after failing to reach $200 million. That doesn’t make it sound like a timeless classic, but it’s a damn great blockbuster that holds up every bit as well today as it ever did.
To that end, Max subscribers have either been revisiting or diving into Gangs of New York for the first time with FlixPatrol revealing it to be one of the Top 10 most-watched titles among users in the United States, just ahead of Scorsese returning to screens with Killers of the Flower Moon.