Apple might step in to save Martin Scorsese’s next movie


Scorsese says his big-budget film will feel like a western.
Photo: Rainy Day Books

Apple TV+ could become the home of Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese’s next major film.

Scorsese’s project, Killers of the Flower Moon, is reportedly looking to find a new partner to produce or distribute the film after Paramount Pictures balked at the estimated $200 million budget.

Netflix and Apple are supposedly the top contenders to take over the film, according to a report Thursday from the Wall Street Journal. Universal Studios and MGM Holdings have also been approached about making a deal for the film that is set to star Leonardo DiCaprio and is preparing to be filmed in northeast Oklahoma.

Does Apple TV+ need Scorsese?

Scorsese’s new film could instantly add some serious clout to Apple TV+. The service hasn’t had many standout films yet and has mostly focused on making TV series. Netflix landed Scorsese’s last expensive film, The Irishman. It cost between $173 million to $200 million to make and established Netflix as a creator of premium-quality movies. The film went on to nab 10 Oscar nominations but didn’t take home any hardware.

Killers of the Flower Moon is based on the non-fiction book by American journalist David Grann. The book follows a series of murders of Osage Nation Native Americans in the 1920s after big oil deposits were found on their land. Federal law enforcement came to investigate the over 20 murders before the US had a Federal Bureau of investigation. Grann estimates that the true tally of murders related to the oil may have been in the hundreds.

Robert De Niro, who was also in The Irishman, is set to co-star with DiCaprio. Paramount Pictures agreed to produce the film back in late 2019. Killers of the Flower Moon was in preproduction earlier this year but COVID-19 has shutdown Hollywood along with the rest of the global economy.

Paramount could still end up producing Killers of the Flower Moon only with a new partner. A cash-rich streaming service could help lessen the financial burden on Paramount. It has yet to be seen though whether anyone is going to want to spend huge on an adult drama once the economic fallout from COVID-19 finally settles.


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