Killers of the Flower Moon, the new movie from Martin Scorsese, is currently in pre-production, and the anticipation is already through the roof. Not only is it a new Scorsese movie, but it also reunites Scorsese with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. On top of that, it’s adapting an acclaimed book by David Grann, based on a true story. Now, as we all sit around eagerly awaiting the movie, screenwriter Eric Roth has shed some light on the project, going so far as to say the film is going to be “one for the ages,” and that “it’ll be like nothing we’ve ever seen.”
To be fair, Roth isn’t exactly an impartial party here – he wrote the movie, so obviously he wants to believe it’s going to be good. Still, it’s hard not to get hyped for whatever Scorsese and company are cooking up here. Speaking with Collider, screenwriter Eric Roth played up the fact that not only is this a new Martin Scorsese movie, it’s a Martin Scorsese Western. But it’s not going to be your standard Western.
“I know Marty’s trying to make a movie that’s probably the last Western that would be made like this, and yet, with this incredible social document underneath it, and the violence and the environment,” Roth said. “I think it’ll be like nothing we’ve ever seen, in a way. And so this one is, to me, one for the ages.”
Based on a true story, Killers of the Flower Moon follows the investigation into a series of murders among the wealthy Osage people that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920s. And while that 1920s setting will keep the film from looking exactly like an old school Hollywood Western, the Western movie ideology is going to be there. “I mean, people will be in suits and things because it’s 1921. It’s during the prohibition, but the ethos I think is very Western,” Roth said, adding: “And also, I think Western justice, about how they said that you couldn’t find 12 white men to convict a white man of killing a Native American…And that’s kind of the feeling on that. And then also, you have these incredible people, the Osage family that a character comes and marries into, and who’s a villain and who isn’t. And then into that comes a kind of heroic guy — Tom White, his name was, who Jesse Plemons is playing — who was in the Texas Rangers, and you couldn’t get more Western than that.”
Jesse Plemons’s character Tom White was originally intended for Leonardo DiCaprio, but DiCaprio decided to take on a role that was more morally grey. When Plemons stepped into the role the headline was that Plemons was now the lead of the film, but Roth says that’s not quite correct. “I wouldn’t say [Plemons is] the lead,” said the screenwriter. “I would say that he was the designated hero. But yeah, I think that’s fairer because I think the parts are pretty equal and they were always equal to a certain extent, and Leo’s part is very complicated and very interesting. It’s a smart part for a smart actor to play. I mean, if Montgomery Clift was alive, I think he might think of playing him.”
Roth also added: “I just think [Martin Scorsese’s] going to make — and obviously I would say this — but I think [of] all my work, this one could be one of the great movies. I really mean that. I think it has all the ingredients, which I don’t want to jinx it, but the story is so important.”
Killers of the Flower Moon is set to film July, and we likely won’t see it until 2022.
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