Martin Scorsese on the set of 'Killers Of The Flower Moon'. Credit: Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Martin Scorsese on the set of 'Killers Of The Flower Moon'. Credit: Emma Tillinger Koskoff

Never one to take a break, Martin Scorsese is gearing up for another major production with Killers of the Flower Moon. Following his Netflix mob movie The Irishman, the veteran director is well on his way with a brand new western.

The project has been developing since 2017, marking a sharp departure from Scorsese’s brand of mob movies – although he did once call Gangs of New York “a western set on Mars”.

Leonardo DiCaprio unrecognizable in first photos of new Scorsese film

Unregconizable Leonardo DiCaprio in “Killers of The Flower Moon”: Release Date, Plot and Cast
Leonardo DiCaprio (right) and Lily Gladstone in a scene from Martin Scorsese's highly anticipated upcoming Apple Original Film, "Killers of the Flower Moon."Courtesy of Apple

Apple has released the first-ever photos from Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated Western, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

The pics depict Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone as Ernest and Mollie Burkhart, a white man and an Osage woman who fall in love in Oklahoma during the early 20th century, IndieWire reported.

In the first look, fans see a notably plain-looking DiCaprio, 46, seated aside Gladstone, 34, lit starkly in a dining room.

The couple’s relationship forms the backdrop for “Flower Moon,” which is based on David Grann’s best-selling book of the same name. The nonfiction work chronicles the Osage Nation murders, in which Native Americans in 1920s Oklahoma were massacred after oil was discovered on their land.

Notably, Gladstone herself is Native American, and grew up on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana.

Starring opposite Gladstone and DiCaprio is a decorated supporting cast that includes Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Cara Jade Myers, Janae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Jason Isbell, Louis Cancelmi, Scott Shepherd, Sturgill Simpson and many others.

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro Offered a Walk-On Role

DiCaprio and De Niro helped raise funds for charity organizations Meals on Wheels America, No Kid Hungry, and America’s Food Fund during the pandemic by launching a campaign in which the highest donor received a walk-on role in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” America’s Food Fund was created in part by DiCaprio during the height of the pandemic and aims to help make sure every family in need gets access to food during the epidemic. “If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be able to work with the great Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and myself, this is your chance,” DiCaprio announced on social media at the time. The winner got to spend one whole day on set and also has an invitation to the film’s world premiere.

Killers of the Flower Moon release date: when is the film in cinemas?

Cameras were supposed to begin rolling on “Killers of the Flower Moon” in March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed production indefinitely. By August, the Osage Nation was readying for the start of filming to take place in February or March 2021. Pandemic delays extended the pre-production process, as large crews were needed to begin building sets on location in Oklahoma. Apple confirmed to IndieWire last month that production officially started April 19.

Apple has not assigned an official release date for “Killers of the Flower Moon” yet. Production kicked off in late April 2021 and is expected to last through the summer. There’s a chance the film could be ready for a December 2021 holiday release depending on how fast Scorsese and his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker can deliver a cut, but it’s also likely the movie gets released in 2022.

Is there a trailer yet?

Not yet – but we’ll keep you posted as soon as anything drops.

Killers of the Flower Moon cast: Who is in it?

Martin Scorsese and his “Killers of the Flower Moon” cast  Everett Collection
Martin Scorsese and his “Killers of the Flower Moon” cast Everett Collection

Scorsese is bringing together his two greatest muses for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. The two Oscar winners previously acted together in Michael Caton-Jones’ 1993 drama “This Boy’s Life” and appeared as fictionalized versions of themselves in Scorsese’s short film “The Audition.” De Niro’s Scorsese films include “Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “Casino,” “The King of Comedy,” “Cape Fear,” and “The Irishman,” while DiCaprio appeared in Scorsese’s “The Aviator,” “Gangs of New York,” “Shutter Island,” “The Departed,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” De Niro was Oscar nominated for Best Actor with “Taxi Driver,” “Cape Fear,” and “Raging Bull,” winning for the latter. DiCaprio was Oscar nominated for “The Aviator” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

De Niro stars in “Killers of the Flower Moon” as William Hale, a powerful rancher who becomes the lead suspect in the FBI’s investigation into the Osage murders. DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, William’s morally conflicted nephew. Ernest is married to an Osage woman named Mollie, played by Lily Gladstone.

Jesse Plemons, who had a supporting role in “The Irishman,” reunites with Scorsese here in a larger role as lead FBI agent Tom White. The supporting cast also includes Scott Shepherd, Pat Healy, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Tatanka Means, Michael Abbott Jr., Gary Basaraba, and Grammy Award-winning musicians Jason Isbell and Sturghill Simpson. Scorsese was adamant about casting indigenous actors as members of the Osage Nation in his film.

Killers of the Flower Moon plot: what is the new film about?

Photo:Everett Collection
Photo:Everett Collection

Scorsese’s new film will take stock of author David Grann’s non-fiction book of the same name, investigating the murders of wealthy Osage people in 1920s Oklahoma, which came to be known as the “Reign of Terror”.

The filmmaker has shared more details for the film, officially dubbing it his first Western. In an interview with Premiere, Scorsese delved into more plot details.

”We think it’s a Western,” he said. “It happened in 1921-1922 in Oklahoma.”

”There are certainly cowboys, but they have cars and also horses, the director continued. “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.”

Delving further into the lands of his next project, Scorsese explained: ”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.

”The history of civilisation 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. This is the film that we are going to try to make.”

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