With Martin Scorsese’s big-budget western Killers of the Flower Moon due to go into production in May, script alterations have led to last-minute casting changes.
Jesse Plemons, who has previously worked with Scorsese on The Irishman, is now set for the lead role in the film for which Leonardo DiCaprio was previously in place for. This news comes following reports of a drastic script overhaul which saw Paramount sell the picture to Apple as the revised screenplay apparently made the project “less commercial”.
Interestingly, these reports also break only days after Martin Scorsese published an essay besmirching the increasing commercialisation of cinema on streaming platforms.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed, “Plemons will play Tom White, the lead FBI agent investigating the murders.”
Adding that, “Plemons now finds himself in a role that was originally going to be played by DiCaprio before the Oscar-winner segued to a secondary lead.”
Paramount reportedly wanted DiCaprio to star in the traditional good cop role and the new script changes make him unsuitable for the part. During the development of Killers of the Flower Moon, DiCaprio pushed to have his role changed from Tom White to the nephew of the movie’s primary antagonist, played by fellow Scorsese favourite, Robert De Niro.
Regarding the sale of the film to Apple, The Hollywood Reporter stated: “Paramount felt [the character change] turned the film into a moody and less commercial character study. Once Scorsese and DiCaprio revised ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ Paramount empowered DiCaprio’s longtime manager, Rick Yorn, to shop the project.”
With Apple now controlling the production of the picture, DiCaprio is confirmed to be playing Ernest Burkhart, the nephew of a local rancher portrayed by DeNiro. Certain Women breakout Lily Gladstone is also on board as Mollie Burkhart, an Osage married to Ernest.
Plemons is also rumoured to be starring Daniel Kaluuya in a secretive Jordan Peele project, representing somewhat of a breakthrough year for the star and a very hectic schedule ahead.
Check out the trailer for Scorsese’s latest below.