Martin Scorsese’s Western drama Killers of the Flower Moon had generated news when Leonardo DiCaprio switched roles in the movie and Jesse Plemons took over his original part but the film’s screenwriter has clarified that the shuffle does not relegate the Titanic star into a supporting space.
Screenwriter Eric Roth recently told Collider that DiCaprio’s part is “very complicated and very interesting” and a smart part for a “smart actor to play.”
“I wouldn’t say (Plemons is) the lead. I would say that he was the designated hero. But yeah, I think that’s fairer because I think the parts are pretty equal and they were always equal to a certain extent, and Leo’s part is very complicated and very interesting. It’s a smart part for a smart actor to play. I mean, if Montgomery Clift was alive, I think he might think of playing him,” Roth said.
Killers of the Flower Moon revolves around the investigation into a series of murders of wealthy Osage people that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920s.
Plemons plays Tom White, the lead FBI agent investigating the murders. The character is the film’s traditional hero, which is why it was originally conceived for DiCaprio when Flower Moon was set up at Paramount Pictures, as per the IndieWire.
But the actor was more interested in playing Ernest Burkhart, the nephew of a powerful local rancher (De Niro), a decision that reportedly led Paramount to sell the film to Apple for 200 million dollars, the publication said.
Roth said he has been working on the script for almost six years and there were some changes when DiCaprio came on board with everyone trying “to figure out how best to portray things because the story is so impactful”.
“I know Marty’s trying to make a movie that’s probably the last Western that would be made like this, and yet, with this incredible social document underneath it, and the violence and the environment. I think it’ll be like nothing we’ve ever seen, in a way. And so this one is, to me, one for the ages,” he added.
The production on the film is slated to begin in May with an expected release date in 2022.
The film marks Scorsese’s sixth collaboration with DiCaprio. They previously worked together in Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street.