Martin Scorsese’s new – highly anticipated – film comes out on 19 October 2023 in Italian cinemas: Killers of The Flower Moon. From the cast to the plot, up to some curiosities, including the duration (3 hours and 26 minutes): here is everything you need to know about the film.
Based on the best-seller by David Grann, and written for the screen by Eric Roth and Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon is set in 1920 Oklahoma and describes the serial murder of members of the wealthy Osage Nation – an Indian tribe that lived between Missouri and Arkansas – after the discovery of oil on their lands. It is a series of brutal crimes that led to the coining of the term “Reign of Terror”.
Over 3 hours of film, “to see at the cinema”
“Make a commitment and see it at the cinema,” said Martin Scorsese himself regarding the film’s duration of 3 hours and 26 minutes. Interviewed by Deadline in May, the director underlined: “It was a commitment. I know that I could sit and watch a film for three or four hours in a cinema, or certainly for five or six hours at home. But to the audience out there… If there’s an audience for this kind of thing, I’m going to turn to them and say, make this commitment. Your life could be enriched by it. This is a different kind of movie; I think it is. Well, I tell you. ‘I gave, so make a point of going to see it at the cinema.”
A stellar cast
The cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone. But also Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow and Brendan Fraser. DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, De Niro plays Ernest’s uncle, William. While Lily Gladstone is Mollie, a Native American married to Ernest. Just Lily Gladstone, a Interviewsaid that during the course of filming, the main part of the film shifted more to the love story between his character and DiCaprio’s, than to other aspects.
An FBI still in its embryonic state arrives to investigate the murders and put an end to the violence, led by ranger Tom White (Jesse Plemons). The young Ernest Burkhart (played, as mentioned, by Leonardo DiCaprio), veteran of the Great War and married to the Indian Mollie (Lily Gladstone), will discover that his uncle, the ruthless agricultural owner William Hale ( played by Robert De Niro). “Hollywood has a long history and checkered past in the representation of Native Americans,” he said in an interview with Vogue Di Caprio. “We need to do more. You know, we’re moving toward a great reckoning with our past. The more these stories can be told truthfully, the more of a healing process it can be.”
Initially the budget of the Paramount film was around 160 million dollars, but the contracts of Scorsese, and then of the two stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro led the filmmaker to ask for 225, too many for the head of Paramount Jim Gianopulos, who he advised Scorsese to turn to some streaming platform for financial support. Netflix was ready to take on the project with 215 million, but in the end it was Apple Studios that won.