‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ Script Changes To DiCaprio’s Role Led To Apple Deal

We’re learning more about what caused Paramount to balk at ponying up $150M for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. A couple of days ago Apple came into co-finance, but the reason they were needed at all had to do with a crucial change made the movie’s script. That change affected Leonardo DiCaprio’s character drastically, making the studio a bit nervous.

THR says the original plan for Killers of the Flower Moon was to have DiCaprio play a member of the newly-formed FBI, investigating the murders of the wealthy Osage people over oil reserves. Paramount was cool with that and willing to pay the budget, which could’ve gone as high as $180M-$200M. However, when Scorsese and DiCaprio took another round at the script, and changed DiCaprio’s character to the nephew of Robert De Niro’s villain, Paramount no longer was for a movie they felt would be tough to market.

So that necessitated bringing in Apple, who will have exclusive rights to stream it on Apple TV+ after a theatrical run. It also caused a bit of a delay in production, which has left DiCaprio free to possibly do something else in-between. As of now, Killers of the Flower Moon is still a long way off.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.