Speaking to The Irish Times, Scorsese revealed that he had been working on the upcoming true crime film’s script for two years when Leonardo DiCaprio read it and asked for it to be reworked.
Killers Of The Flower Moon is based on a series of murders in the Osage tribe in 1920s Oklahoma and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone and Brendan Fraser.
While the film is now being told from the perspective of the Osage tribe, that wasn’t always the case. According to Scorsese, the film’s original script was told “from the point of view of the bureau agents coming in to investigate”, which prompted DiCaprio’s issue with the script.
Scorsese explained: “Leo came to me and asked, ‘Where is the heart of this story?’ I had had meetings and dinners with the Osage, and I thought, Well, there’s the story. The real story, we felt, was not necessarily coming from the outside, with the bureau, but rather from the inside, from Oklahoma.”
This led the filmmaker to meeting with 300 members of Oklahoma’s Gray Horse community. “I always said if I ever get involved with anything that has to do with indigenous people, I’d better know who the people are or, at least, feel comfortable with them as human beings,” Scorsese told the Irish Times.
In May, when the film premiered at Cannes, Geoffrey Standing Bear, the principal chief of the Osage Nation said of the film and Scorsese: “On behalf of the Osage, Marty Scorsese has restored trust. And we know that trust will not be betrayed.”
Killers Of The Flower Moon is scheduled for release in cinemas across the globe in October, before eventually landing exclusively on Apple TV+.
NME managed to catch an advanced screening of the film earlier this year, with Lou Thomas giving the film a glowing five-star review. Thomas wrote: “This is among Scorsese’s most important work. Popular music from the 1920s, Native American songs and Robbie Robertson’s bluesy score help round off this remarkable Western, a film that will linger in the minds of its audience for a long time.”