When Columbia Pictures execs recently saw 45 minutes of footage from Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton’s 19th-century novel of manners, they promptly postponed its Christmas Day opening. Which led some to think that the director and his powerhouse trio of Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder might be in trouble.
But they aren’t, say all concerned. Instead of meeting his nine-month deadline, Scorsese will be given a full year — his usual working pace — to finish the $30 million movie. And the film will be released next fall for ’94 Oscar consideration. ”It’s not a question of there being a problem with the movie,” says Scorsese’s spokeswoman. ”At the beginning, Marty felt it was almost impossible (to finish in nine months). Columbia only saw raw footage, and they went crazy and loved it. So Marty is really happy, and it’s going to be worth the wait.” Columbia’s spokesman takes the same line: ”This is a decision that was done for all the right reasons.”
Of course, the studio might have other reasons in mind. Sony Pictures, which owns Columbia and its sibling studio, TriStar Pictures, already has an embarrassment of high-profile holiday riches: A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore; Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula with Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, and Ryder; and Sir Richard Attenborough’s lavish all-star biopic, Chaplin. With all of them contending for ’93 Oscars, delaying Innocence just may be the ticket.