- Leonardo DiCaprio’s improvised dialogue in Killers of the Flower Moon left Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro rolling their eyes.
- Paramount Pictures withdrew from the film after the script was changed due to Scorsese and DiCaprio’s quest for authenticity.
- Killers of the Flower Moon received critical acclaim during its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
Leonardo DiCaprio, known for his undeniable talent and numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, has had moments on set that led to perplexed reactions from director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Scorsese recounted countless “endless, endless, endless” dialogue improvisations by DiCaprio while filming Killers of the Flower Moon, which left both him and De Niro rolling their eyes.
Scorsese shared a quote about these moments, saying, “Then Bob [De Niro] didn’t want to talk. Every now and then, Bob and I would look at each other and roll our eyes a little bit. And we’d tell [Leo], ‘You don’t need that dialogue.’”
The director discussed the contrasting approaches of the two Oscar-winning actors, painting a comical image of himself and De Niro exchanging glances similar to the TV show The Office while DiCaprio went off-script. Scorsese must not find DiCaprio’s improvisation too troubling, as the two have frequently worked together and even have a new project, The Wager, in the pipeline.
Martin Scorsese Reveals Paramount Pictures Backed Out After the Script Was Changed
In the same interview, Scorsese revealed that Paramount Pictures withdrew from the production of Killers of the Flower Moon after the script was altered. The focus of the story shifted from FBI agent Tom White to Ernest Burkhart and his relationship with his Native American wife, Mollie Burkhart.
Scorsese recalled, “The studio said, ‘We backed the other version, we can’t back this one.’”
The change was motivated by Scorsese and DiCaprio’s pursuit of authenticity. DiCaprio previously clarified why they discarded the original script: “It just didn’t feel like it got to the heart of it. We weren’t immersed in the Osage story… We just started to penetrate into what that relationship was, because it was so twisted and bizarre and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.”
Killers of the Flower Moon, based on David Grann’s acclaimed best-selling book, is set in the 1920s Oklahoma and portrays the serial killing of wealthy Osage Nation members, which became known as the Reign of Terror. The film, directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and co-written with Eric Roth, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow, and Brendan Fraser. It premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in May and garnered widespread praise from critics.
The film is scheduled for theatrical release in the United States on October 20, 2023, through Apple Original Films and Paramount Pictures. Additionally, Killers of the Flower Moon will be released on Apple TV+, though no specific date has been announced yet.