The First Trailer for Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Sees De Niro and DiCaprio, Together at Last

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio star in Martin Scorsese's new film Killers of the Flower Moon.

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio star in Martin Scorsese’s new film, Killers of the Flower Moon.Courtesy of Melinda Sue Gordon for Apple TV via Everett Collection
Martin Scorsese’s 206-minute adaptation of David Grann’s bestseller shines in the two-minute teaser.

The first official teaser trailer for one of the year’s most anticipated films is here. After forcing sites to subsist on a single production still for almost a year, Apple TV+ finally released the first teaser trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, the first full-length film collaboration between Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in more than 25 years. The new, extended look at the film is rich in suspense, Indigenous cultures, and oil. In addition to De Niro and DiCaprio, Flower Moon also features a potentially star-making turn from Lily Gladstone, and other Indigenous actors like Tantoo Cardinal and Tatanka Means.

An adaptation of David Grann’s best-selling 2017 book of the same name, the film focuses on a string of murders in 1920s Oklahoma of wealthy members of the Osage Nation, who had quickly become extremely wealthy following the discovery of oil beneath their land. The trailer begins with an evocative shot of the Osage people celebrating the discovery of the oil, before shifting focus to the arrival of DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart.

“The Osage took their name from Missouri and Osage rivers,” DiCaprio’s character says, explaining that the name means “Children of the idle waters.”

According to a Deadline feature on the making of the film, Scorsese and his two leads agreed early in pre-production that they did not want to “serve up a white-savior Western” that focused on the heroic deeds of FBI agent Tom White –the character DiCaprio was initially slated to play. DiCaprio reportedly suggested shifting the focus of the film to one of the suspects, Burkhart, and he wound up with the role, while Jesse Plemmons came on to olay White. De Niro plays William Hale, the uncle of Burkhart, and a key figure in the film’s central conspiracy. 

“I’d read the book a few years earlier and the Tom White character was more prominent,” De Niro told Deadline. “That was right for the book, but Marty and Leo’s idea to focus on the relationship between Bill and Ernest made sense to me. They wanted to focus more on that dynamic instead of Tom White coming in and saving the day.”

Scorsese, DiCaprio, and De Niro stress in the Deadline piece that this take on the book is more personal and less about the mystery, though the trailer certainly emphasizes suspense. Working for the fourth time with cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, the film has a cool, muted aesthetic that recalls the pair’s previous collaboration on Silence, and a driving score courtesy of Robbie Robertson.

“There are many, so many hungry wolves. Can you find the wolves in this picture?” DiCaprio narrates, hinting at the uncertainty and paranoia surrounding the killings.

In addition to the Academy Award winners, Flower Moon star Gladstone, a 36-year-old actor of Indigenous descent, is being hailed as the film’s “breakout star” and a possible Oscar nominee. Gladstone plays Mollie, the wife of DiCaprio’s character, and she features prominently in the debut trailer.

Gladstone told The Hollywood Reporter that she came close to quitting acting entirely in the summer of 2020, before Scorsese reached out to her via Zoom. Scorsese had been a fan of her performance in Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women. Gladstone and DiCaprio ended up working closely, learning the Osage language for the movie and meeting with members of the community. 

“They shared personal stories that ended up changing the script and helped us flesh out the characters,” Gladstone said.

Killers of the Flower Moon will be released by Paramount Pictures in theaters on October 6, before a streaming release onApple TV+. It will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20.

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