Although Martin Scorsese has long been the master of the gangster movie, there’s one classic genre that the acclaimed director has never attempted and that’s the Western. But that may finally change with Scorsese’s next film.
We’ve known for some time that Scorsese’s next movie is Killers of the Flower Moon, an adaptation of the 2017 nonfiction book of the same name about the 1920s Osage murders in which wealthy members of the Osage Native American tribe were murdered in order to gain access to their oil. So far, the most notable bit of news to come out about the film is that it will finally unite Scorsese with his two most notable collaborators — Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio — in the same film, but now we have a whole new reason to get excited. In a recent interview with the French outlet Premiere, the director revealed that thanks to the film’s period Oklahoma setting, and the strong presence of cowboys and Indians in the story, he’s planning on styling the film as a Western. Here’s what he had to say, per Collider:
We think it’s a Western. It happened in 1921-1922 in Oklahoma. There 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.
Certainly, a Western doesn’t have to take place in the Old West, so Killers of the Flower Moon could totally end up being Scorsese’s first contribution to the genre. And with both De Niro and DiCaprio at his disposal, there’s a decent chance that Scorsese ends up making not just a Western, but one of the best Westerns of all time.
Killers of the Flower Moon starts filming later this year, with an expected release in 2021.