Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo Dicaprio as the Wall Street broker and party boy Jordan Belfort, is to be released on December 25, 2013, after the legendary filmmaker delivered a shortened version of the film that was screened for Paramount chairman Brad Grey, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

Leonardo DiCaprio Wolf of Wall StreetLeonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort

Fully financed by Red Granite, the drama has always been expected to play some part in this year's awards race, though Paramount's demand that Scorsese cut the original edit from 180 minutes to 165 minutes is a slight concern. Nevertheless, the studio appeared by buoyed by the changes.

"Marty's work is fantastic. He's continued to work on it but now it's officially going to be ready for Christmas Day and I'm delighted," said Grey.

Also starring Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, Rob Reiner and Cristin Milioti, The Wolf of Wall Street will now go up against the indie-drama The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Keanu Reeves' big-budget 47 Ronin, Grudge Match and the Justin Bieber documentary Believe on Christmas Day. Paramount's Jack Ryan, starring Chris Pine as Tom Clancy's famous intelligence offer, was originally slated for the 25th but last week the studio pushed it back to January 17, 2014.

Jonah Hill Leonardo DiCaprioJonah Hill [L] and Leonardo DiCaprio [R] in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Following the stunning results of The Departed, another collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio appeared to be the most likely route for either the director to win another Oscar or the actor to win his first. However, the Oscar race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in years with 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips, All is Lost, Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis already wowing critics. American Hustle and August: Osage County are thought to contenders while talk suggests Out of the Furnace could be one of Christian Bale's finest movies yet.

That leaves The Wolf of Wall Street with it all to do to attract the attention of the Academy and it's likely that Paramount may push a campaign for DiCaprio to win Best Picture - a category in which it will face less competition. Chiwetel Ejiofor is the current favorite for 12 Years a Slave.

Watch the excellent Wolf of Wall Street trailer:

The movie tells the story of Belfort, a New York stockbroker who refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, the corporate banking world and mob infiltration. 

After the living the high life for years, Belfort was indicted in 1998 for securities fraud and money laundering. After cooperating with the FBI he served twenty-two months in prison. He was ordered to pay back $110.4 million that he had swindled from stock brokers.