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Just when you thought Martin Scorsese was out of the ongoing Oscar race, they find a way to pull him right back in (to paraphrase Mr. Pacino). At least, that’s what Showbiz 411 reports, saying that the director’s anticipated collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street, might avoid a delay to 2014 and arrive in theaters by the end of this year.
“Sources say that Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker are trying desperately to deliver a manageable length version of The Wolf of Wall Street for Christmas Day release,” Roger Friedman writes on his Hollywood gossip site. “The word: Their goal now is November 25th. After that, Scorsese will leave for the Marrakesh Film Festival. That will give the capable folks at Paramount one month to get marketing and promotion together.”
The rumors of a Wolf delay surfaced weeks ago, when sources began leaking word that Scorsese’s cut was too long for theatrical release. Buzz said the director’s cut surpassed three hours, and would easily earn an NC-17 rating from the MPAA … meaning Paramount would have a very difficult time recouping any money that it sunk into a feature it clearly hoped would contend for multiple Oscars.
Try and process this. We live in an era where Scorsese doesn’t necessarily have final cut on a film, and still has to haggle with studio heads over what “cut” of a film is suitable for release. It reminds me of the problems Sir Ridley Scott ran into with his own Kingdom of Heaven, and now there are factions of film fanatics who swear that the longer cut is the true masterpiece (while the shorter, theatrical cut isn’t worth the stock it was shot on).
Of course, it’s a business, and Paramount has a point – from a financial standpoint. A 3+ hour NC-17 movie isn’t going to make any money, even with Scorsese and DiCaprio’s names attached. And you know that the studio will be able to make the longer cut available on DVD at a later date. But the Wolf you see in theaters won’t necessarily be the full version Marty wants us to see. And after THIS trailer, that saddens me, because I want as much of this as possible:
Now, as Friedman points out, putting Wolf back into the Christmas frame affects the Oscar race. Will Scorsese, DiCaprio, co-stars Matthew McConaughey and/or Jonah Hill compete? Could the film get a Best Picture nod? Suddenly, there are whole new wrinkles in the race to consider. Wait until we get confirmation from the studio (which never really confirmed the delay), and then strap in for whatever version of Wolf Scorsese is able to deliver … for now.