“Killers of the Flower Moon” Trailer Unveils Martin Scorsese’s Star-Studded Epic
At long last, the first teaser trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is here.
Scorsese’s film, adapted from investigative journalist David Grann’s best-selling 2017 book of the same name, is having its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, May 20, and Apple TV has now given the rest of the world this sneak peek. The story involves a series of brutal murders in Oklahoma on the Osage Nation during the turn of the 20th Century. The Osage had recently become some of the wealthiest people on the planet thanks to the discovery of oil on their land. As the teaser makes evocatively clear, their sudden wealth brought the wolves to their doorstep, as white interlopers, in various guises, descended upon Osage land to pry their newfound wealth from them in any way they could, whether it be through marriage or murder.
While Grann’s book was centered on Tom White, a former Texas Ranger who came to Oklahoma to investigate the murders (he’s played in the film by Jesse Plemmons), Scorsese and his screenwriter Eric Roth altered the focus of their story. The film is no longer centered on the law-abiding white man who comes to Osage Nation to solve the crime but instead shifts the focus to the relationship between Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his uncle, William Hale (Robert De Niro). Ernest married a member of the Osage Nation, Mollie (Lily Gladstone), who is ailing, and he stands to inherit a fortune. Both Ernest and William, despite claiming to love and respect the Osage people, might just be the wolves that DiCaprio’s Ernest is talking about in the teaser. Did he marry Mollie (they have three children together) solely for the money? Are he and William connected to the murders?
Speaking with Deadline, De Niro explained that as excellent as Grann’s book is, the movie needed to shift its focus from Tom White to the murkier motives of Ernest and William.
“It made the most sense to show what’s going on in that world, the dynamic between the nephew and the uncle,” De Niro told Deadline. “I don’t know if you would call it the banality of evil or just evil, corrupt entitlement, but we’ve seen it in other societies, including the Nazis before WWII. That is, a depressing realization of human nature that leaves people capable of doing terrible things. [Hale] believed he loved them and felt they loved him. But within that, he felt he had the right to behave the way he did.”
Killers of the Flower Moon is easily one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year and arrives in theaters in October. Check out the teaser below:
Here’s the official synopsis for Killers of the Flower Moon:
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. Also starring Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is directed by Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese from a screenplay by Eric Roth and Martin Scorsese, based on David Grann’s best-selling book.
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Featured image: Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” coming soon to Apple TV+.