A TV series based on a Martin Scorsese movie is in development at Miramax Television, with Scorsese on-board as an executive producer. Many Scorsese movies would make fantastic television shows, partly because he’s made so many based on a true story and/or books – these include Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and The Wolf of Wall Street. But the show in question is based on another novel which is based on a real period of history – Gangs of New York.
According to Deadline, the series will be another adaptation of Herbert Asbury’s 1927 non-fiction book The Gangs of New York. In Scorsese’s movie, Daniel Day-Lewis played Bill the Butcher, who was a real leader of the Bowery Boys gang in New York. The movie had an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, and Stephen Graham. The accents were heavily criticised, especially from Diaz, who played Irish pickpocket Jenny Everdeane.
A Gangs of New York TV series was previously in development in 2013, but never came to fruition. It was to follow organised gangs not only in New York, but in other cities such as Chicago and New Orleans and chronicle the birth of organised crime in America. It is not known if this new incarnation of the series will be similar.
The series will serve as a kind of unofficial prequel to Boardwalk Empire (which Scorsese also worked on), which followed the rise of organised crime in Atlantic City after WWI. The Gangs of New York book follows a period of time from the mid-to-late 1800s. Scorsese’s movie zeroed-in on the rivalries and violent clashes between Protestant and Catholic Irish immigrants in the Five Points area of New York, and on the eruption of rioting that happened because of conscription for the American Civil War in 1862.
Scorsese will be hoping for more luck with this Gangs of New York series than he is having with The Devil in the White City. Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the rights to the book over a decade ago, originally planning for it be a Scorsese movie. It is now in development as a Hulu TV series, but both director Todd Field and star Keanu Reeves have dropped out, leaving it in limbo.
While we wait to find out more about the Gangs of New York TV series, check out our guide to the best drama series.