Killers of the Flower Moon, an upcoming movie by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, is the true story of the murders of scores of Osage Native Americans over a period of four years after oil was discovered on tribal land in 1920s Oklahoma.
Known as the Reign of Terror, the incidents were initially reported as unsolved murders, but the death toll kept rising until more than sixty Osage Indians had been killed.
An investigation ultimately revealed a wide conspiracy of greed among local officials to rob the Osage of their new-found wealth. Most of the killings were never prosecuted, but among the men who were convicted was prominent cattleman William Hale, who ordered the murders of his nephew’s wife and other members of her family to gain control of their oil rights. He was sentenced to life in Leavenworth but was paroled after 20 years. He died in 1962 at the age of 87.
The movie is based on a best-selling book by reporter David Grann that got excellent reviews, and was also well received by the Osage Nation.
As one reviewer wrote, the story exposes, “with the help of contemporary Osage tribe members, a forgotten chapter in American history, a sickening conspiracy that goes far deeper than those four years of horror. It will sear your soul.”
The book was adapted for the screen by Scorsese and Eric Roth, who won an Oscar for Forrest Gump, and most recently wrote the screenplay for Dune.
PREMIERES AT CANNES FOR OCTOBER RELEASE
Killers of the Flower Moon will have its world premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, and will be released in select cinemas on October 6, 2023, with wide release in the United States on October 20.
‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ receives nine-minute standing ovation at Cannes.