Leonardo DiCaprio Asked for Killers of the Flower Moon Script Rewrite, 2 Years of Martin Scorsese’s Hard Work Went Down the Drain: “Where is the heart of this story?”

Leonardo DiCaprio was not satisfied with Martin Scorsese's script.

Leonardo DiCaprio Asked for Killers of the Flower Moon Script Rewrite, 2 Years of Martin Scorsese’s Hard Work Went Down the Drain: “Where is the heart of this story?”

SUMMARY

  • Martin Scorsese revealed he wrote Killers of the Flower Moon for two years.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was not pleased with the story so he asked for an overhaul.
  • Paramount Pictures almost dropped the film because of the new script and expanding budget.
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Martin Scorsese wrote the script for Killers of the Flower Moon for two years, but Leonardo DiCaprio asked for an overhaul after he felt dissatisfied with the narrative. He approached the director and voiced out his concerns, and eventually, Scorsese made the proper revisions.

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Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

Killers of the Flower Moon is based on the true-to-life story that occurred in the Osage tribe in 1920s Oklahoma. Aside from DiCaprio, the film also stars Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, and Lily Gladstone.

RELATED: “It was made for everybody, not Osage”: Martin Scorsese Faces Major Criticism Despite Rewriting ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Script to Avoid White Savior Trope

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Martin Scorsese Scrapped Original Script After Leonardo DiCaprio Questioned Its Motive

Martin Scorsese spoke with The Irish Times and shared how Leonardo DiCaprio forced him to rework the script for Killers of the Flower Moon that he composed for two years. He initially wanted to bring this “terrible tragedy” out into the world, and he said DiCaprio helped make it happen:

After two years of working on the script, Leo came to me and asked, ‘Where is the heart of this story?’ I had had meetings and dinners with the Osage, and I thought, Well, there’s the story. The real story, we felt, was not necessarily coming from the outside, with the bureau, but rather from the inside, from Oklahoma.”

Killers of the Flower Moon
Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon premiered at Cannes in May, and the chief of the Osage Nation, Geoffrey Standing Bear, said on stage, “Marty Scorsese has restored trust. And we know that trust will not be betrayed.” It started in 2019 when the director spoke with 300 members of the Oklahoma’s Gray Horse community. He stated:

I always said if I ever get involved with anything that has to do with indigenous people, I’d better know who the people are or, at least, feel comfortable with them as human beings.”

Scorsese revealed he was nervous upon meeting Chief Standing Bear, and they talked to make sure he was not going to sensationalize the story and take advantage of the situation. The filmmaker said he relied on their knowledge, and he would always write down on paper whenever they shared something with him.

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RELATED: Leonardo DiCaprio is Not the Only Show Stopper in Martin Scorsese’s Movie: 5 Things You Need to Know About Lily Gladstone Before Watching Killers of the Flower Moon

Paramount Pictures Almost Entirely Dropped Killers of the Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese

With a new script, the movie almost did not happen as Martin Scorsese recalled how Paramount Pictures said no to it. In his interview with Wall Street Journal, he revealed the studio told him they would not fund the revamped script:

The studio said, ‘We backed the other version, we can’t back this one.’

Paramount apparently preferred the first version, and the expanding budget also forced them to drop the project. It was only after Apple stepped in that Paramount helped in the film distribution.

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RELATED: “It is so very special to me”: Both of Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Cinematic Heroes’ are in Killers of the Flower Moon – Who Could They Be?

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2037

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.