Even after all these years, a Martin Scorsese film is still something to look forward to, and his latest is shaping up to be something very special. Based on David Grann’s best-selling crime thriller, Killers of the Flower Moon will tell the true-life mystery tale of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma in the 1920s who became quite wealthy after oil was discovered beneath their land. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off and the ensuing spiral of conspiracy, greed and murder got so bad that the FBI had to step in.
With a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, and a budget exceeding $200 million, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon will be a big film no matter which way you shake it, and screenwriter Eric Roth recently spoke with Collider to tease what we’re in store for.
I know Marty’s trying to make a movie that’s probably the last Western that would be made like this, and yet, with this incredible social document underneath it, and the violence and the environment. I think it’ll be like nothing we’ve ever seen, in a way. And so this one is, to me, one for the ages.
As he’s the writer of the film, Eric Roth might be a little biased, but I always have faith in Martin Scorsese. The project has previously been referred to as a western, and that’s something Roth agrees with, even if the film won’t be what we typically picture when we think of the genre. “I mean, people will be in suits and things because it’s 1921. It’s during the prohibition, but the ethos I think is very Western,” Roth said. “And also, I think Western justice, about how they said that you couldn’t find 12 white men to convict a white man of killing a native American. You’d have a better chance of having them convicted of kicking a dog. And that’s kind of the feeling on that. And then also, you have these incredible people, the Osage family that a character comes and marries into, and who’s a villain and who isn’t. And then into that comes a kind of heroic guy — Tom White, his name was, who Jesse Plemons is playing — who was in the Texas Rangers, and you couldn’t get more Western than that.” Jesse Plemons is slated to play Tom White, the lead FBI agent investigating the murders, with Lily Gladstone playing Mollie Burkhart, an Osage married to Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), the nephew of a powerful local rancher played by Robert De Niro.