Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, premieres at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend.
Adapted from David Grann’s book, the story expands from a vivid true crime saga—focused on a series of unexplained deaths in the oil-rich Osage Nation in the early 1920s—to an indictment of how the American West was built.
Over shots of white Oklahomans coldly staring into the camera, the trailer tells us,
Greed is an animal that hungers for blood.”
According to Vanity Fair,
Grann’s book, with the subtitle The Birth of the FBI, is framed like a detective story, with FBI agent Tom White (played in the movie by Jesse Plemons) arriving in the Osage Nation to solve the murders of multiple Native people who were entitled to the profits from the oil discovered underneath their land. But the fact that Plemons only briefly appears in the trailer is no accident.”
DiCaprio told Deadline that original drafts of the script, focused on White and the investigation but,
just didn’t get to the heart of the Osage.
It felt too much like an investigation into detective work, rather than understanding from a forensic perspective the culture and the dynamics of this very tumultuous, dangerous time in Oklahoma.”
The final version of the film, written by Eric Roth and Scorsese, is a complex love story between DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart and his wife Mollie (Lily Gladstone), an Osage woman who has become wealthy thanks to oil money.
Ernest and Mollie really represented how twisted and complex some of this stuff was, culturally.
A lot of Osage women were marrying white men who really came to prey on them, to take over their headrights and seize their oil money. And yet, at the same time […] They still loved each other.
That was the twisted complexity of what made this a truly dark American story.”
Legendary director Scorsese, at 80, reflects on his long career and what’s next,
I’m old. I read stuff. I see things.
I want to tell stories, and there’s no more time.”
Killers of the Flower Moon will get a limited theatrical release October 6, going wide on October 20 in the US, before streaming globally on Apple TV+.
#KillersOfTheFlowerMoon will exclusively be in theatres from @ParamountMovies & @AppleFilms this October. It's a project I am proud of & I cannot wait to share it with you all. @lily_gladstone @johnlithgow pic.twitter.com/kxikmq943N— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) May 18, 2023