The Martin Scorsese directed 'Gangs Of New York' has had its American release date pushed back to Christmas 2002.

The film, which has been billed as 'the Irish goodfellas', stars Leonardo DiCaprio along with Irish actors Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson and Liam Carney.

Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day Lewis and young 'Harry Potter' actor Devon Murray also star.

The film had been due for release last autumn in the US but has been dogged with delays, which have caused the project to run well over budget.

Scorsese is now reported to be working on cutting the film to under three hours.

'Gangs of New York' is based on the novel by Herbert Asbury. It tells the story of two rival gangs of Irish immigrants in New York's suburbs and is set between 1846 and 1863.