A few weeks before the theatrical release of the eagerly awaited "Killers of the Flower Moon" by Martin Scorsese (80), the director and leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio (48) give an insight behind the scenes. "I was drawn to the idea of telling this terribly tragic story that never got national exposure," Scorcese reveals in the short featurette "An Inside Look."
The Oscar winner's historical film is an adaptation of the 2017 book of the same name by investigative journalist David Grann (56). It tells the story of the Osage Native American tribe from Osage County, Oklahoma. Thanks to unexpected oil deposits, the Osage Nation became one of the wealthiest peoples in the world almost overnight at the beginning of the 20th century.
However, the new prosperity attracts white invaders who manipulate, blackmail and ultimately murder the natives to get their money. After a shocking series of murders, the newly formed FBI begins the investigation. While the bestseller revolves around former Texas Ranger Tom White (portrayed by Jesse Plemmons in the film), Scorsese and screenwriter Eric Roth (78) focus on the Osage perspective instead of that of the "virtuous white man."
"One of the most important aspects was to portray a world in which friendship and love exist, along with blackmail, exploitation and murder," Scorsese explains in the video.
"Marty was obsessed with telling this story with the utmost honesty, as only he could," says Leonardo DiCaprio. “It was important to him to do this story justice.” In the drama, DiCaprio plays the character Ernest Burkhart, a white man who falls in love with the native Mollie Burkhart, played by Lily Gladstone (37). He is encouraged by his uncle William Hale (Robert De Niro, 80) to marry Mollie to make exploiting the Osage even easier. "Hale was a very enigmatic presence in Osage County," explains Lily Gladstone. "He definitely represents someone who wanted to take advantage of the situation at all costs," DiCaprio added.
“I wanted to do justice to the Osage so that the audience would feel the immensity of the tragedy,” Scorsese himself summarizes.
The film will be released in cinemas in the USA on October 20, 2023. In this country, “Killers of the Flower Moon” will be released a day earlier, on October 19th. Scorsese's work will then be available exclusively on the Apple TV streaming service.