By Tobias Handke
Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese is currently on a tear.
Last year the brilliant mind behind cinematic classics Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and Goodfellas released two projects to rave reviews from critics and fanboys alike.
The long-in-gestation, Netflix produced The Irishman received all the accolades and found Scorsese reuniting with frequent collaborators Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (plus Al Pacino) for another gangster epic about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Scorsese also directed the lesser seen but still critically acclaimed Bob Dylan concert doco Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, easily on par with his Rolling Stones doco Shine A Light.
Riding high on those successes, Scorsese is wasting no time getting back in the director’s chair to tackle an adaptation of journalist David Grann’s true-crime novel Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI. The non-fiction book centres on a string of murders linked to the discovery of oil, and was one of the first homicide investigations FBI were involved with. As this synopsis details:
‘At the end of the nineteenth century, the Osage Indians were driven onto a presumed worthless expanse of land in northeastern Oklahoma. But their territory turned out to be atop one of the largest oil deposits in the United States; to obtain that oil prospectors were required to pay the tribe for leases and royalties. By the 1920s, the members of Osage Nation had become the wealthiest people per capita in the world. And then the Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances.’
Scorsese has described the film as ‘a western’ with a plot delving into the murders and the conspiracy behind them. Scorsese favourites De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio have been cast as the leads with filming taking place on location in Osage Country. Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) has also been tapped to write the screenplay and frequent Scorsese collaborator Rodrigo Prieto will be in charge of cinematography.
With a budget of $225 million—and two of our generations greatest actors on board—it appears Scorsese is once again going all out, with Killers Of The Flower Moon another iconic Scorsese masterpiece in the making.