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Leonardo DiCaprio wanted villain role in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ despite concerns from studio

Leonardo DiCaprio may be the star of Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” but he is most certainly not its hero.

Based on the book of the same name by David Grann, “Killers” tells the true story of the murders of members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma by White settlers in the 1920s after recently discovered oil makes the Osage people some of the richest in the country.

DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, a man who marries an Osage woman named Molly Kyle, played by Lily Gladstone, and becomes involved in the dark plot to not only murder her family, but poison her as well. 

Originally, the movie hewed closer to the book’s focus on the federal investigation into the deaths, but as Scorsese and his team worked on the story, the focus shifted to the relationship between Ernest and Molly, and the impact on the Osage people.

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Killers of the Flower Moon

Leonardo DiCaprio stars alongside Lily Gladstone in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” (Melissa Sue Gordon)

As the film debuts in theaters, Scorsese ultimately hopes that by showcasing the dark truth to an “important” part of American history, he can make a difference.

“I’m 80 now, and I kept thinking, ‘Well, everybody should know that; everybody should know this.’ There are people who don’t even know about World War II,” Scorsese told USA Today. “So what do we do, not talk about it? Let’s show it. Let’s talk about it. Because it’s happening again; look at what’s happening around the world.”

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