The New ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Trailer Teases a Tour de Force Leo Performance

Culture
The latest clip from Scorsese’s upcoming opus pretty much confirms Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone are locks for the Oscars.

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio's performances in Killers of the Flower Moon are already garnering Oscar buzz.

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances in Killers of the Flower Moon are already garnering Oscar buzz.Courtesy of AppleTV+

Apple TV released a second trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, and this new peek at the epic Osage Nation crime drama emphasizes the complicated love story at the core of the film. In the movie, based on David Grann’s acclaimed nonfiction book of the same name, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, nephew of business magnate William Hale who marries an Osage woman named Mollie Kyle, played by Lily Gladstone.

Killers of the Flower Moon focuses on a series of killings in Osage County, Oklahoma throughout the 1920s where members of the community were targeted because of their oil-rich land. In addition to DiCaprio and Gladstone, the movie stars Robert De Niro as Hale, Jesse Plemons as an agent investigating the murders for a precursor of the FBI, and Tantoo Cardinal as Mollie’s mother.

In a September 11 Interview Magazine story where Gladstone spoke to director Kelly Reichardt, the actor spoke about how the film changed significantly through rewrites during the pandemic. “The focus would’ve been the FBI, with Mollie and Ernest being part of the supporting storyline, instead of the central one,” Gladstone said of the original story. She then explained that Scorsese, DiCaprio, and herself did a two-plus hour Zoom to discuss the project and begin building chemistry. Eventually, the two actors met for dinner, and spent time with the real-life granddaughter of their characters Maggie Burkhart.

The second trailer also emphasizes a moment between the two characters that Scorsese told Time was fully improvised by Leonardo. Seemingly early in their courtship, Mollie calls Ernest a “coyote” in the Osage language, to which he responds, “I don’t know what you said, but it must’ve been Indian for ‘handsome devil.’” As the story deepens, and members of the Osage community begin dying under suspicious circumstances, we see their marriage fraying at the seams. “I don’t even know if you love me anymore,” a bedridden Mollie tells Ernest, imploring him to “kill these men that killed my family.” This second trailer ratchets up the tension and violence at the heart of the grisly story, with shootings, fights, and even an explosion just outside the room where Mollie and Ernest are sleeping.

In a June conversation with Osage News, the film’s three stars spoke about bringing the events known as the “Reign of Terror” to film, learning about Osage culture, and the complex dynamics between their characters, in particular Mollie and Ernest.

“I think there are different ways to look at their relationship, but ultimately there was a love story there between these two and that’s what we wanted to focus on. Otherwise, I don’t know that the film would have worked in this capacity,” DiCaprio said. “So, we did a lot of work to really work on what Ernest and Mollie’s relationship was, what a twisted love story that it was, convoluted and complex. But, it was just fascinating to me that they stayed together through all this and you know, I’m just incredibly happy that we got to tell this story and everyone was involved in telling it and we tried our very best to be as truthful as we could.”

Killers of the Flower Moon will premiere in theaters stateside on October 20, including a limited IMAX release, and eventually stream on Apple TV+.

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