After it was reported last month that Oscar winner Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) was in negotiations with multiple streaming services for financing his long-in-development adaptation of Killers of the Flower Moon, The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that Paramount Pictures and Apple have entered final talks to co-finance the film.
With the project set to star both Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Robert DeNiro (The Irishman) along with Scorsese directing, insiders report that the budget with the trio’s contracts is already set around $55 million, causing the director to ask for a ballooned budget from the original $160 million report to $225 million. Paramount head Jim Gianopulos felt uncomfortable with the numbers and pulled it back down to $180 million and agreed with the director to talk to streaming services to help attain a better deal for all parties, with Netflix originally prepared to take the project on for $215 million after working with Scorsese on The Irishman.
While final numbers haven’t been revealed on the deal between the two studios, it’s been confirmed that Apple will be taking point as the creative studio behind the project and will shoulder the cost of it while Paramount will distribute the film.
Based on the novel of the same name from David Grann (pick it up here!), the film will follow the investigation into the grisly murders of wealthy Osage people in Osage County, Oklahoma in the 1920s shortly after oil was discovered under their land. The FBI, still early in the creation phase, took on the case and discovered a horrible secret behind the spree.
“When I read David Grann’s book, I immediately started seeing it—the people, the settings, the action—and I knew that I had to make it into a movie,” Scorsese previously said. “I’m so excited to be working with Eric Roth and reuniting with Leo DiCaprio to bring this truly unsettling American story to the screen.”
Killers of the Flower Moon, written by Eric Roth (A Star is Born), is produced by Imperative Entertainment, who acquired the rights for the novel for $5 million, as well as Scorcese, Appian Way Productions and Sikelia Productions. It will be starring Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio with fellow Scorsese alum Robert De Niro previously in talks to join the cast.
Killers of the Flower Moon will mark DiCaprio and Scorcese’s seventh collaboration together after working on multiple Oscar-nominated and winning films beginning with 2002’s Gangs of New York followed by 2004’s The Aviator, which was the actor’s first Oscar-nominated performance with the director, 2006’s The Departed, 2010’s Shutter Island, 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street and the 2015 short film The Audition.
(Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art)