Scorsese, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and screenwriter Eric Roth had many potential avenues in adapting David Grann’s expansive nonfiction history, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.”
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is shocking, at times crushingly sorrowful, a true-crime mystery that in its bone-chilling details can make it feel closer to a horror movie. And while it focuses on a series of murders committed in the 1920s, Scorsese is, emphatically, also telling a larger story about power, Native Americans and the United States. A crucial part of that story took place in the 1870s, when the American government forced the Osage to leave Kansas and relocate in the Southwest. Another chapter was written several decades later when oil was discovered on Osage land in present-day Oklahoma.
The film that Scorsese and company premiered Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival, however, wasn’t like the one they initially set out to make.
The film, which will open in theaters in October, chronicles the series of killings that took place throughout the Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma.
The Osage were then enormously rich from oil on their land, and many white barons and gangsters alike sought to control and steal their money. Dozens of Osage Native Americans were killed before the FBI, in its infancy, began to investigate.
Martin Scorsese directed this harrowing and deeply American true-crime drama set in the 1920s. Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone star.