Unexpected development. Leo is not playing the book's FBI lead!
This is definitely going to be massively reworked into a film since most of it is the FBI investigation in the book. Leo is playing the husband of the Osage woman who loses her entire family. He's De Niro's character nephew in the film and has significantly less influence in the story than him, it's not a lead role.PH You’re about to make Killers of the Flower Moon, the story of the
Bureau of Investigation handling of the 1920s murders of members
of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma, who had become immensely
rich through their oil rights. The narrative, in the book it’s based
on anyway, is more linear than it is in The Irishman, isn’t it?
MS Yes, but again, I don’t know if I’d do it that way. I’ve been working
with Eric Roth on the script for a few years now, and we’re – now,
actually, yesterday, in this room, and last night – we’re knocking away
at this script, and restructuring it, rethinking it. Because it’s convenient
to do a sort of detective story, but we all know what it is. So I want to explore something else, and that is the nature of a whole way of
thinking as being complicit in genocide. It’s dehumanising people.
I was out in Oklahoma about six weeks ago, and ultimately, as the
Osage told me, it’s about greed. And therefore you could think that these
people don’t deserve any of it because they’re not human anyway. Not
really human. That opens up a whole interesting situation, let’s say, with
William Hale [the jovial, sinister white local patriarch] and his nephew
Ernest, and [his Osage niece-by-marriage] Mollie, beyond even the
Bureau of Investigation and [its agent] Tom White, who’s a good man,
comes in – he couldn’t pin it on anybody, he couldn’t get evidence – they
were all doing it. Or they’re all, at least, complicit in sins of omission.
They were quiet about it. And ultimately that’s the story, the whole idea
of the status quo being guilty.
PH De Niro is going to be in it?
MS [Yes, as] Bill Hale. William Hale. Gotta get him in there. And Leo
[DiCaprio], I think playing Ernest at this point, the husband. And we
haven’t yet settled on Tom White, but… yeah, it’s shifting the story
from – since we know what happens and we know certain characters...
Then how do you tell the story from the inside rather than from the
exterior in. It’s going to take a few more months to get that right. But
I was in Oklahoma, met with the Osage, Chief Standing Bear and his
family, and it’s quite remarkable. I was certainly – how shall I put
it? – surprised by the landscape. This is very different. I’m more used
to the South-west, California, New Mexico – I did a film there. The
landscape here is something that I hadn’t anticipated. The space of
it. And the isolation is interesting. I mean, we’re just beginning, but
I hope to get there, I hope to start shooting it by March or April.
But it’s exciting, and we’re just grappling now, getting the
script together. I have to go around, do some travelling, for
The Irishman, but these days it’s best just to get to work.