“Can you find the wolves in this picture?” — centred on this chilling line delivered by Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon by Martin Scorsese captivated fans with its first teaser trailer which was released online on 18 May.
The Western crime drama is one of the most anticipated films of 2023. Its teaser trailer was first revealed at the 2023 CinemaCon in April, but it was not dropped online at the time.
The film comes from Apple Studios and Paramount Pictures and is about a horrific true incident from the early part of the 20th century in the US.
On the occasion of the trailer release, DiCaprio said in a tweet, “It’s a project I am proud of & I cannot wait to share it with you all.”
Though Martin Scorsese is a master of the crime genre, it is the first time he has made a Western. And from the looks of the trailer, he seems to have hit the bull’s eye.
Killers of the Flower Moon: Story, cast and everything else to know about
What is the story of Killers of the Flower Moon?
Killers of the Flower Moon is based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by The New Yorker’s staff writer David Grann. The book’s full title is Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI and it is set in 1920s Oklahoma.
The best-selling book, and thus the film, is about the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation tribe. At its core, it is about a white genocide committed against Native people.
The crimes, which came to be known as the Reign of Terror, were investigated by Texas Ranger Tom White and J. Edgar Hoover, the latter of whom went on to become the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
What does the Killers of the Flower Moon trailer show?
The teaser trailer is less than two minutes long and it depicts the horrific murders of the Osage Nation members by white interlopers through the perspective of an “improbable romance” of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Ernest Burkhart and Lily Gladstone’s Mollie Kyle.
The teaser trailer begins with the discovery of oil on Osage Nation land, with members of the tribe dancing in joy. It cuts quickly to the arrival of Ernest and follows his relationship with Mollie, a member of the Osage Nation.
A scene shows a vast expanse of Osage Nation land where drilling for oil is taking place. Ernest is seen reading a book about the Osage Nation. As his voice narrates a passage from the book about “so many hungry wolves,” the scene depicts several white people walking past Mollie giving her cold, hard looks.
As the Killers of the Flower Moon trailer progresses, murders, mayhem, gunfights and arson are seen. It ends with a group of rich white people apparently posing for a photo, as Leonardo DiCaprio’s voice poses the question about the “wolves” in the picture.
Who are among the cast of Killers of the Flower Moon?
Apart from the main leads, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone, the film stars some of the biggest Hollywood actors in prominent roles.
Among them is Robert De Niro, who plays the main antagonist, William Hale, who is the uncle of DiCaprio’s character.
Brendan Fraser, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2023 for his performance in The Whale, is also part of the cast. He is seen in a couple of flashes in the trailer, one of which shows him seated next to De Niro’s character.
Other cast members include Jesse Plemons, Cara Jade Myers, Tantoo Cardinal, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Tatanka Means, Michael Abbot Jr., Pat Healy, Scott Shepard, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson.
Many of the principal cast members are seen in the short trailer.
The film is the seventh in which Martin Scorsese teams up with DiCaprio and the 11th in which the ace director collaborates with De Niro. But it is the first time since 1993’s This Boy’s Life in which DiCaprio and De Niro are appearing together.
Who are the makers of the film?
Martin Scorsese helms the project and has also co-written the screenplay with Eric Roth.
Scorsese, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Daniel Lupi are listed as producers. Leonardo DiCaprio joins Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer, and Niels Juul as executive producer.
The movie has a budget of USD 200 million. Apple Studios has joined production companies Imperative Entertainment, Sikelia Productions and Appian Way Productions on the project. It is the most expensive film to date which the streaming platform has backed.
Paramount Pictures will release the film in theatres before it comes to Apple TV+.
“The risk is there, showing in a theatre in the first place,” Scorsese has said, according to The Guardian, “But the risk for this subject matter, and then for running time. It’s a commitment.”
When is the film releasing?
The teaser trailer reveals that Killers of the Flower Moon will be released in theatres in October, but doesn’t specify a date. Reports, however, suggest that the film will hit the big screen on 6 October.
It is noteworthy that Killers of the Flower Moon is one of the longest movies ever made with a run time of 3 hours and 26 minutes.
The film will have its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival on 20 May, where it is set to be screened in the out of competition section.
(Hero and Featured images: Apple TV+)