Leonardo DiCaprio is a serial killer dodging the FBI in Martin Scorsese’s epic “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
First footage for the long-awaited Western debuted during the Paramount Pictures panel at the 2023 CinemaCon. The Apple Original period piece stars DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart, who allegedly murdered his wife Mollie’s (Lily Gladstone) Osage Nation family members in order to inherit their access to oil. Jesse Plemons plays an FBI agent in the early stages of the law enforcement agency.
Paramount CEO Brian Robbins was on hand (Paramount is partnering with Apple on the release for the film) along with Scorsese, who walked out on stage, naturally, to the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”
“This is a picture that I designed, we all designed, to be seen on a big screen. This is a big screen movie, and that is what we made, as you’ll see,” Scorsese said.
The official logline reads: “Killers of the Flower Moon” is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror.
The trailer showed DiCaprio hunting for “Black Gold,” marrying Gladstone, and confronting Plemons.
“I was sent down from Washington D.C. to see about these murders,” Plemons says to DiCaprio’s character. “See what about it,” he replies. “See who’s doing it.”
Described as Scorsese’s first Western, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is based on David Grann’s non-fiction book about the series of murders in Osage County, Oklahoma during the 1920s after oil was discovered on Osage Nation Indigenous land. Eric Roth and Scorsese adapted the book for the screenplay. Scorsese produces the film, with DiCaprio executive producing.
Brendan Fraser, Robert De Niro, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, and Jillian Dion also star in the sprawling film that will make its world debut at 2023 Cannes. Festival director Thierry Fremaux compared “Killers of the Flower Moon” to an old Hollywood style of filmmaking, saying, “Martin Scorsese’s film is along the lines of big, popular yet director-driven films of the past, like David Lean and Cecil B. DeMille.”
The runtime for “Killers of the Flower Moon” has already turned heads at 3 hours and 26 minutes, which is three minutes shorter than Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” The feature is Scorsese’s first collaboration with Apple Films; Scorsese and DiCaprio are confirmed to adapt “Killer of the Flower Moon” author David Grann’s upcoming “The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder” for the streamer.
For all the details on “Killers of the Flower Moon,” click here.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” premieres in limited theaters October 6, followed by a wide release October 20. Check out first look photos below.
Additional reporting by Brian Welk.