Iconic director Martin Scorsese has become well-known for his gangster epics, but his upcoming project Killers of the Flower Moon will be his first foray into the western genre. Throughout his decade-spanning career Scorsese has paid homage to a number of classic westerns including Rio Bravo, The Great Train Robbery, The Searchers and Shane, but this will be the first time he himself has added to the genre.

"We think it's a western. It happened in 1921-1922 in Oklahoma. They 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.
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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."

Martin Scorsese bringing life to a bunch of horse-riding cowboys as well as cowboys that drive cars sounds far too good to miss. The director also discussed the main cast, which so far consists of two of his most frequent collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro as the leads.

"Leonardo DiCaprio will play the main role, Bob (De Niro) will return to play William Hale, "King of the Osage Hills," the man responsible for most of the murders. The rest will be Native American actors. It's so interesting to think about the mentality that leads us to this. The history of civilization goes back to Mesopotamia.

The Hittites are invaded by another people, they disappear, and later it is said that they have been assimilated or, rather, absorbed. It is fascinating to see this mentality which is reproduced in other cultures, through two world wars. And which is therefore timeless, I think. Finally, this is the film that we are going to try to make."

In the past, Scorsese did describe his 2002 American epic as "a western set on Mars", but Killers of the Flower Moon will be the first time he has embraced the western genre properly. Based on the critically-acclaimed book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, the story follows an investigation into a series of murders of wealthy Osage people that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920s. The man behind Forrest Gump and The Good Shepherd, Eric Roth, has penned the script with production set to begin next month on location in Oklahoma.

This comes to us from Premiere.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge