It’s been known for awhile that Martin Scorsese was looking to follow up his titanic mob tragedy The Irishman with another true-to-life American parable, adapting David Grann’s 2017 novel Killers of the Flower Moon. Though Paramount long held the rights to the project, Scorsese and his producers were looking to shop the Eric Roth script around, its estimated $200 million budget a tough pill to swallow. Luckily, it appears as if Apple is stepping in to provide funding.
While Paramount will provide a theatrical release, Apple will provide funding and creative input, with Killers of the Flower Moon eventually ending up on their streaming service sometime after the theatrical debut.
Set to star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, Grann’s novel chronicles a series of murders against the Osage community in Osage County, Oklahoma in the 1920’s. The true-life crimes are framed as the impetus of the FBI’s creation, and a pivotal step in the final closing of the American Frontier.
Scorsese’s film is being described as an epic western, and posted photos to his Instagram page some time ago, showing the pre-production location scouting in Oklahoma. DiCaprio and De Niro’s involvement can be seen as a landmark moment for Scorsese, joining his two most-iconic leading men for the first time on-screen.
Though the status of film production under the pandemic is tenuous, hopefully Killers of the Flower Moon remains on track to shoot as studios find ways to cope with the changed world.