“Killers of the Flower Moon” Star Robert De Niro the Focus of New Character Video
There is no director alive better at depicting the dual nature of a certain type of man, one who makes the sign of the cross with one hand while holding a pistol with the other, than Martin Scorsese. With Killers of the Flower Moon, Scorsese has turned his attention to the tortured souls of two men in particular, Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his uncle, William Hale (Robert De Niro). The film, adapted from David Grann’s sensational 2017 book of the same name, is centered on a series of grisly murders of Osage Nation members in Oklahoma at the turn of the 20th century. The Osage had become rich thanks to the discovery of oil on their land, and this made them targets for men like Hale and Burkhart, the former manipulating the latter into helping him pry the money from the Osage through marriage or, if need be, through murder.
“William King Hale is an extraordinary character,” Scorsese says at the top of a new video devoted to De Niro’s character. “He was respectful on the one hand and a murderous thug on the other.” The video follows previous installments looking at DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart and Lily Gladstone’s Mollie Kyle, the Osage woman Ernest falls in love with and marries. This union between Ernest and Mollie is precisely the kind of soft power that Hale advocates for, a bloodless way to take the Osage’s money. “We mix these families together, and that estate money flows in the right direction,” Hale says in a previous trailer. “It’ll come to us.”
“William Hale wanted to take control of Osage wealth and territory at all costs,” DiCaprio says in the new video. “[He was] exploiting and manipulating them.”
“And if necessary, do away with them,” Scorsese adds. “Almost as if it was for their own good.”
In his long, illustrious career, Scorsese has taken a hard look at men like Hale, who believe in their hearts they are owed something, who believe their own spin that they are God-fearing and good men who occasionally have to do awful things for the greater good. And Scorsese has exposed men like Ernest Burkhart, who allow themselves to be manipulated, often against their own interests, to do the bidding of men like Hale. In Killers of the Flower Moon, Scorsese and his co-writer Eric Roth made sure to focus not only on these two white men but on the Osage people themselves. The film is a crime saga, a tragedy, and a historical epic all in one. It’s the story of America.
Check out the character video below. Killers of the Flower Moon arrives in theaters on October 20:
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Featured image: Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” premiering October 20, 2023 on Apple TV+.