‘Killers of the Flower Moon’: See the First Trailer for the Martin Scorsese Western Epic
Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone star in 'Killers of the Flower Moon' — which makes its world première at the Cannes Film Festival later this month. Photo: Apple TV+.
The first trailer for the upcoming western crime epic Killers of the Flower Moon dropped Thursday, giving fans a long-awaited look at Martin Scorsese’s latest film.
The movie tells the story of Oklahoma’s Osage Nation in the 1920s — a Native American community that grew rich off of oil discovered on their land and then fell victim to a series of murders later dubbed the “Reign of Terror.” The murders led to the involvement of the relatively new Bureau of Investigation (BOI), the precursor to the FBI, led by J. Edgar Hoover.
Based on the 2017 non-fiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, the film unites Scorsese, 80, with his two most famous leading men — Robert De Niro, 79, and Leonardo DiCaprio, 48 — for the first time ever on a feature film. This marks the sixth feature film for DiCaprio and Scorsese, and the tenth for the director and De Niro. Both actors also worked with Scorsese on the 2015 short film The Audition.
The Apple TV+ and Paramount Pictures production also reunites De Niro and DiCaprio exactly 30 years after the pair starred in the 1993 drama This Boy’s Life after which De Niro recommended DiCaprio to Scorsese.
“My career was launched by doing This Boy’s Life, auditioning with Bob and then getting the role,” DiCaprio told Deadline. “It got me to do all these films with Marty and now, 30 years later, all of us getting to work together and collaborate, it’s such an incredible and special experience for me. Those are my cinematic heroes. It is so very special to me.”
In Killers of the Flower Moon, DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, a white man married to Mollie Burkhart (Lily Gladstone), a member of the Osage Nation. Burkhart eventually becomes caught up in the Osage Nation murders, including through his connection to his uncle, William Hale, a real-life wealthy (and underhanded) cattle rancher on the Native American territory, played by De Niro. BOI investigator Tom White, played by actor Jesse Plemons, is called in to investigate the murders.
Killers of the Flower Moon also co-stars a number of Canadian talents, including Alberta-born Indigenous actress Tantoo Cardinal, 72 — who’s appeared in films including Dances With Wolves and Legends of the Fall and co-starred in the television series North of 60, among numerous other credits — as well as Oscar-winning The Whale actor Brendan Fraser, 54, and Edmonton’s Gary Basaraba, 64, who has appeared in multiple Scorsese films.
This film had been in the works since 2017 but various issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and rewrites of the script to change the focus of the movie from FBI investigator White, originally slated to be played by DiCaprio, to the Burkharts, delayed the production.
The film reportedly cost US$200 million to make and runs almost three-and-a-half hours.
“It’s a commitment,” Scorsese told Deadline. “I say to the audience out there, if there is an audience for this kind of thing, ‘Make a commitment. Your life might be enriched. This is a different kind of picture; I really think it is. Well, I’ve given it to you, so hey, commit to going to a theatre to see this.’ [Spend] the evening, or the afternoon with this picture, with this story, with these people, with this world that reflects on the world we are in today, more so than we might realize.”
Killers of the Flower Moon debuts at the Cannes Film Festival later this month and makes its wide release in theatres on Oct. 20, followed by streaming on Apple TV+.