Directed by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Brendan Fraser, along with Lily Gladstone, Louis Cancelmi, and Oscar nominees Jesse Plemons and John Lithgow.
The movie hasn't stuck to the narrative perspective of the 2017 David Grann book that it's based on, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, which looks at the true story of a series of murders in the 1920s over oil reserves on tribal land in Oklahoma.
"Leo DiCaprio looked at me and said, 'Where's the heart in this movie?'" the director recalled during an interview about the crime thriller earlier this year. "This was when Eric Roth and I were writing the script from the point of view of the FBI coming in and unraveling everything."
Instead, Scorsese and Roth decided to approach the telling of Killers of the Flower Moon from the perspective of a love story between DiCaprio and Gladstone's white husband and Native American wife, a member of the tribe being targeted.
What is 'Killers of the Flower Moon' about?
Based on journalist Grann's bestselling 2017 book, the film was inspired by the true story of a series of murders in 1920s Oklahoma in the Osage Nation, a Midwestern Native American tribe, after oil was discovered on their land. The brutal murders went on to be known as the Reign of Terror. As well as telling the story of the killings and the events that surrounded them, Killers of the Flower Moon also charts the birth of the FBI.
Here is Apple's official synopsis:
At the turn of the 20th century, oil brought a fortune to the Osage Nation, who became some of the richest people in the world overnight. The wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted white interlopers, who manipulated, extorted and stole as much Osage money as they could before resorting to murder. Based on a true story and told through the improbable romance of Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone), “Killers of the Flower Moon” is an epic western crime saga, where real love crosses paths with unspeakable betrayal.
When will the film come out?
Originally planned to have a limited release in early October, Killers of the Flower Moon will now enjoy a much wider release and land in theaters worldwide on Oct. 20, 2023.
The movie's runtime is 3 hours and 26 minutes.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, and you can watch it right here:
And a second trailer released by Apple:
Who is in the film?
DiCaprio leads the cast in his latest collaboration with Scorsese. Including the 2015 short film The Audition, Killers of the Flower Moon is the seventh time the leading man and the filmmaker have worked together.
DiCaprio has been nominated for seven Oscars, once for producing a Best Picture nominee (The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)), once for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)), and five times for Best Actor in a Leading Role (The Aviator (2004), Blood Diamond (2006), The Wolf of Wall Street, The Revenant (2015), and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)). For his performance in The Revenant, he went on to win the Oscar.
Killers of the Flower Moon marks the tenth time De Niro and Scorsese have worked together. Their creative partnership spans five decades, starting with Mean Streets (1973) and includes such revered films as Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), and The Irishman (2019). In his career, De Niro has received eight Oscar nominations, and won two Oscars: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Godfather Part II (1974) and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Raging Bull.
Gladstone is of Blackfeet and Nimíipuu heritage and grew up on the Blackfeet Nation reservation. The actress is best known for her performances in Certain Women (2016) and First Cow (2019), both of which were directed by Kelly Reichardt, but she made her debut in Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian (2012). Killers of the Flower Moon is her first collaboration with Scorsese.
Killers of the Flower Moon also boasts an impressive supporting cast that includes Plemons, who received an Oscar nomination last year for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Power of the Dog (2021), and Fraser, who won the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar earlier this year for The Whale (2022), and two-time Oscar nominee Lithgow.
Who's behind the scenes?
Scorsese is widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He is one of the most-nominated directors of all time. To date, he has received 14 Oscar nominations, nine times for directing, three times for producing a Best Picture nominee, and twice for writing. He won the Best Directing Oscar for The Departed (2006), which also starred DiCaprio. Scorsese also co-wrote Killers of the Flower Moon.
Roth is the other half of the film's writing team. Roth won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Forrest Gump (1994) and has received six Oscar nominations for his work on a string of other films, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), A Star is Born (2018) and Dune (2021). He also earned an Oscar nomination for producing the Best Picture nominee, Mank (2020). Killers of the Flower Moon marks the first time that Scorsese and Roth have worked together.
Killers of the Flower Moon reunites the director and co-writer with longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker. She has worked with Scorsese since his 1967 debut feature, Who's That Knocking at My Door, and has edited all of his films since Raging Bull (1980). The eight-time Oscar nominee has won three Oscars for Best Film Editing; for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed, all directed by Scorsese.
This is the fourth Scorsese project that cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto has worked on. Previous collaborations, Silence (2016) and The Irishman, earned him two of his three Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography. His third nomination was for Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain (2005). He's also known for 8 Mile (2002), Argo (2012) and this year's box office hit Barbie (2023).
Costume designer Jacqueline West has been nominated for four Oscars but had never worked with Scorsese until Killers of the Flower Moon. However, she has worked with some of the cast and crew previously. Her first Oscar nomination was for her work on Quills (2000). The second was for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was written by Roth; the third was for The Revenant (2015), which starred DiCaprio, and the fourth time was for the Oscar-winning Dune, which was co-written by Roth.