Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” Unveils Thrilling New Trailer
“You made a good choice coming back here,” William Hale (Robert De Niro) says to his nephew, Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), at the start of the second trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. “The Osage are the finest, wealthiest, and most beautiful people on God’s earth.”
Hale refers to the fact that the Osage Nation in Oklahoma were the lawful landowners of property that contained massive oil reserves discovered during the turn of the 20th Century. This made the Osage fabulously wealthy, and it also made them the targets of legions of people like Hale, who wanted, by whatever means necessary, to pry that oil money from them. When Hale called them the finest, wealthiest, and most beautiful people on God’s earth, only one portion of that statement really mattered to him.
The new trailer reveals the outline of Hale’s plan, which includes his nephew. He asks Ernest if he likes women, and Ernest tells him it’s his weakness. “We mix these families together, and that estate money flows in the right direction,” Hale says. “It’ll come to us.”
We know, however, that marrying into the Osage Nation isn’t the only way white people like Hale will try to chisel the oil money from them. Scorsese’s film, adapted from investigative journalist David Grann’s best-selling 2017 book of the same name, tracks a series of brutal murders of Osage Nation members. The new trailer reveals the extent of the wanton killing and the horrific toll it takes on the Osage people. 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 from the virtuous White, coming to Osage Nation to solve a crime, to both the perpetrators of the crime and on the Osage themselves.
The focus is centered on the relationship between Ernest and Mollie (Lily Gladstone), a member of the Osage Nation whom Ernest eventually marries. The love between the two complicates the larger scheme afoot and pits Ernest’s heart against his Uncle’s mercilessness.
Speaking with Deadline, De Niro explained how the shift in focus helped bring his character into sharper focus:
“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.”
Check out the new trailer here. Killers of the Flower Moon arrives in theaters on October 20:
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Featured image: Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” coming soon to Apple TV+.