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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Gangs 'come to New York early'
Cameron Diaz, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in Cannes
Diaz (left) and DiCaprio (right) star in Scorsese's film
Film fans in the United States will be the first to see Martin Scorsese's long-awaited new movie Gangs of New York after its release date was moved forward, according to reports.

It had been expected that Japanese cinema-goers would see the film four days before the rest of the world.

But the US release date has now been brought forward by five days from Christmas Day to 20 December, according to trade publication Variety.

The $100m (£65m) movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, will now open just two days after the second instalment of The Lord of the Rings.

Oscars tip

US film fans will have a wide choice of blockbusters in the holiday period, with Denzel Washington's directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, and Hugh Grant's new comedy, Two Weeks Notice, also battling for attention.

Gangs of New York will open on 2,500 screens in the US and is one of the early favourites to pick up Oscars at next year's ceremony.

It was originally set for release at Christmas 2001.

Disputes and delays over cutting the film down from its original three-hour 40-minute version were blamed for the lengthy delay in finishing the film.

The finished version lasts for two hours and 40 minutes.

'Knockout punches'

The première was originally due to be held at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but only a 20-minute taster was shown.

The extended trailer was cheered enthusiastically by the audience and described by one critic as "a string of knockout punches", but by another as "so brief that it was impossible for anyone to feel much".

Gangs of New York is set in downtown New York in the middle of the 19th century and tells the story of a young immigrant Irishman, played by DiCaprio, out to avenge his father's murder.

The film's cast also includes Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent and Daniel Day-Lewis as a gangland boss.

Scorsese has said: "Ultimately this film asks the question 'What is America, and what does it mean to be an American?'"

It is scheduled to be released in the UK on 10 January.

See also:

09 Oct 02 | Entertainment
21 May 02 | Entertainment
20 May 02 | Entertainment
02 Feb 01 | Entertainment
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