The long, dramatic history of “The Irishman” is well known, at this point. Most film fans are aware of how long it took for filmmaker Martin Scorsese to bring his Oscar-nominated passion project to the big screen (albeit a short run before settling on Netflix). Thankfully, it appears we won’t have to wait nearly as long for his next film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” as development and pre-production of the film has been ongoing for a while now.
In a new interview with Cahiers du Cinema (via Premiere & The Film Stage), Scorsese talks about his new film and why he considers ‘Killers’ to be a Western, even if it takes place in the 20th century.
“We think it’s a Western,” he said. “It happened in 1921-1922 in Oklahoma. They are certainly cowboys, but they have cars and also horses. 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. Then 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.”
He added, “It’s so interesting to think about the mentality that leads us to this. The history of civilization 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. Finally, this is the film that we are going to try to make.”
“Killers of the Flower Moon” finds Scorsese teaming up with two of his greatest collaborators, actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Both have long histories with the filmmaker and have turned in some of the best work of their careers with Scorsese. It’ll be interesting to see how they tackle this latest project.
It’s expected that filming will begin this year, with a 2021 release likely, though nothing has been announced.