After teaming up with Netflix last year for The Irishman, director Martin Scorsese’s next major flick will reportedly have backing from Apple. Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline all report that Apple is in final talks with Paramount to jointly back Killers of the Flower Moon, a period crime drama with a $180 million+ budget, and star names attached including Robert de Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Based on a book by the same name, it portrays an investigation into the murders of Osage Nation natives during the early 1920s in Oklahoma. Profit sharing from oil deposits on their lands had made them wealthy, and eventually targets. A subsequent inquiry by the Bureau of Investigation found widespread corruption among local officials, just as that agency began morphing into its current state as the FBI.
For Apple the deal is another big movie signing after its acquisition of Tom Hanks’ WWII naval drama Greyhound, and potentially carries an even higher profile. According to the reports, Apple will fund the project as its own original movie, while Paramount will handle distribution for the worldwide theatrical release.
This is far from the the director’s first tie-up with Apple. Before the days of social distancing, he remotely directed a shot in The Departed via iChat, and even appeared in an ad for its AI voice assistant Siri. And now as big-budget streaming operations look for prestigious originals, Scorsese is finding homes for some of his most expensive ideas.