Martin Scorsese almost quit Hollywood after ‘Gangs Of New York’

Martin Scorsese has said he almost quit making movies after directing Gangs Of New York.

The director, who worked on the movie with lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio, locked horns with the 2002 film’s now disgraced producer, Harvey Weinstein, with whom Scorsese wrestled over the length and the budget of the film.

“I realised that I couldn’t work if I had to make films that way ever again,” Scorsese told GQ. “If that was the only way that I was able to be allowed to make films, then I’d have to stop. Because the results weren’t satisfying. It was at times extremely difficult, and I wouldn’t survive it. I’d be dead. And so I decided it was over, really.”


Although he didn’t quit, Scorsese said he almost called it a day again when he found himself having to work with Weinstein on The Aviator two years later.

Director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio during ‘Gangs Of New York’ in Paris on January 6, 2003 CREDIT: Toni Anne Barson/WireImage

“And I was against that,” Scorsese said of working with Weinstein whose production company Miramax was a distributor of the film, which again starred DiCaprio. “There was a meeting, and I was forced into that position. I’d already been, uh, made pregnant, as they said. And there’s no way you’re getting out of it.

“But the shoot went well, the editing went well until the last couple of weeks of editing. And they came in and did some things that I felt were extremely mean.”

According to GQ, Warner Bros. and Weinstein’s Miramax cut off funding for the film, forcing Scorsese to use $500,000 (£411,000) of his own private funds to finish it.

“I just said, ‘I’m no longer making films,’” added Scorsese.


Despite his comments, the legendary director has continued to make a host of movies including the forthcoming Killers Of The Flower Moon, which reunites the director with DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. The film is centred on a series of Oklahoma murders in the Osage Nation in the 1920s, after oil was discovered on tribal land.

Weinstein meanwhile, is currently serving a 23-year sentence for two counts of rape and sexual assault in New York and 16 further years in prison for three counts of rape and sexual assault in LA.

In a five-star review of Killers Of The Flower Moon, NME described it as a “film that will linger in the minds of its audience for a long time”.

It is set for release in cinemas from October 20, before it arrives on Apple TV+ at a later date.