Martin Scorsese’s epic drama will premiere Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival.
Two days before the Cannes Film Festival world premiere of Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorsese’s epic-length adaptation of David Grann’s 2017 nonfiction best-seller Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, Paramount has released the eagerly awaited first teaser trailer for the Apple Original Film.
Lead players Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone figure prominently in the promo, as the overriding theme is ominously spelled out for us: “Greed is an animal that hungers for blood.” Like the book on which it is based, the movie focuses on a real-life drama in 1920s Oklahoma, where white power brokers schemed to seize oil-rich land owned by Osage Native Americans. In the trailer, we see and hear DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart, the nephew of powerful cattleman William Hale (De Niro), as he observes — and, maybe, enables — the “Reign of Terror” that would eventually claim dozens of Osage victims. Among the endangered: Burkhardt’s wife Mollie (Gladstone, pictured above with DiCaprio), an Osage woman who has inherited an oil fortune.
As Burkhart pointedly asks: “Can you see the wolves in this picture?”
“We think it’s a Western,” Scorsese told Premiere when asked to describe Killers of the Flower Moon. “It happened in 1921-1922 in Oklahoma. There are certainly cowboys, but they have cars and also horses. The film is mainly about the Osage, an Indian tribe that was given horrible territory, which they loved because they said to themselves that Whites would never be interested in it. Then we discovered oil there and, for about ten years, the Osage became the richest people in the world, per capita. Then, as with the Yukon and the Colorado mining regions, the vultures disembark, the White man, the European arrives, and all was lost. There, the underworld had such control over everything that you were more likely to go to jail for killing a dog than for killing an Indian.”
Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog, Antlers) co-stars as Tom White, a former Texas Ranger turned agent for the newly formed FBI, who leads an investigation into the Osage murders. Other members of the cast include John Lithgow, Brendan Fraser, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion and Tantoo Cardinal.
Killers of the Flower Moon will open in a limited theatrical run on Oct. 6 before expanding on Oct. 20. But prepared for a long sit: The film reportedly clocks in at no less than three hours and 26 minutes.