Killers of the Flower Moon will be Leonardo DiCaprio's first collaboration with Martin Scorsese after 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street. Here is everything you need to know about the project.
Leonardo DiCaprio turns 47 today. The actor, who has been around since the early 1990s, is often called the last remaining movie star in Hollywood. The argument goes that his name alone still sells movie tickets in this age of intellectual property and franchises.
Killers of the Flower Moon will be DiCaprio’s first collaboration with Martin Scorsese after 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street. A western crime drama, the film is based on journalist David Grann’s non-fiction book of the same name. It is set in Oklahoma in 1920s and portrays a series of murders of Osage Nation Native Americans.
They were forced away from their ancestral home from Kansas to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. But in a stroke of stunning luck, early in the 20th century, vast oil reserves were discovered on their land, transforming their fortunes overnight.
But then, from 1910s, many prominent Osages began to be murdered, which intensified n the 1920s. This forced the FBI, then a new organisation, and its young director J Edgar Hoover to open an investigation which revealed a terrifying conspiracy.
Hoover sent Tom White (played by Jesse Plemons) to gain the trust of the Osage, and find the murderers.
DiCaprio plays the role of Ernest Burkhart in Killers of the Flower Moon. Due to the wealth of the Osage Nation, many whites had married the members of the tribe to gain control of oil rights. Burkhart was among them.
To achieve their goals, he, his brother, and his uncle William Hale conspired to murder many Osages after marrying them. If the killings could not be traced to them, it would eventually enable them to inherit the rights. Burkhart married Mollie Burkhart (Lily Gladstone in the movie), a rich Osage, and slowly poisoned her and everybody who stood in his family’s way.
A prominent white cattleman, William Hale had many friends among the Osages, and was understood to be a friend of the tribe. He proved to be anything but.
The story is chilling and it sounds incredible but it is true. American Indians have been oppressed, killed, and persecuted ever since Europeans set their eyes upon them. But this was singularly cold, for the elaborate conspiracy involved marrying Osage women, having children with them, all the while being aware of the eventual outcome.
DiCaprio is an all-around great actor but many believe he is particularly good in villainous roles, perhaps most famously in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, as a racist, calculating plantation owner, and this is making us all the more excited for his portrayal of Burkhart. DiCaprio is a great actor and a blackguard character like Burkhart will give him a lot to chance to show off his dramatic chops.
Also, the story of the Osage, the improvement of their fortunes after centuries of depredation, and the murders, makes for a thrilling tale. It helps that somebody like Scorsese is at the helm.
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