- Martin Scorsese’s film Killers of the Flower Moon benefited from its seven-year development timeline, allowing the director to explore new directions and fully realize his vision.
- Scorsese has a history of taking his time to develop his movies, with some of his most acclaimed works taking a decade or more to come to fruition.
- Killers of the Flower Moon is the latest example of Scorsese’s patient approach, and based on the positive reviews, it proves the wait was worth it.
Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese explains how Killers of the Flower Moon‘s seven years of development ended up helping the movie. Produced and directed by Martin Scorsese, this epic revisionist Western crime drama, which is based on David Grann’s 2017 book of the same name, follows members of the Midwestern Osage nation in the United States who were mistreated and murdered under mystifying circumstances, sparking a major FBI investigation. The movie features a brilliant ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone and also includes names like Tantoo Cardinal, Brendan Fraser, Jesse Plemons, and John Lithgow.
Following the recent release of Killers of The Flower Moon, Scorsese spoke to IndieWire, explaining that the movie’s seven years of development timeline was ultimately very helpful for the movie as a whole. The award-winning director further explained that the idea he initially had for the movie a couple of years ago changed a lot over time, and the extended period of production allowed for them to figure things out and take the movie in a new direction that he was more inclined to explore. Read his full comment below:
“We would have found ourselves at that juncture where we realized that the path we were taking was something that we weren’t going to do. And I don’t think the picture would have been made, between myself and Leo. Yeah, because (Leo is) the main thing for me, meaning, which character is he going to play? Would I have enjoyed the Texas Rangers in the past? Yes, I would have, but not at my age now. If it was me, 20 or 25 years ago, I’d say, “Yeah, let’s do a foray into the American West, from the European American’s point of view.” That doesn’t mean it has to be hagiographic for them in any way, or revisionist; it’s an honest look at it. But over the years, that’s changed. And so it changed a great deal from the early ’70s, when I was 29, 30 years old, and began to realize that the Western the way I imagined it from the beautiful, extraordinary films made by the Hollywood studios in the ’40s and ’50s had been designed with a certain philosophy and political point of view.”
Martin Scorsese Has Historically Taken His Time When Developing Movies
Over the last couple of decades, Martin Scorsese has established himself as one of the most prominent figures of the New Hollywood era. Since he made his directorial debut in 1967 with the intense and extremely sincere Who’s That Knocking at My Door, the 80-year-old filmmaker has directed 26 full-length films and 16 full-length documentary films, winning many notable awards for these feature films and documentaries and becoming one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation in the process.
Historically, Scorsese likes to take his time when developing his movies, taking the better part of a decade, or sometimes even more, to fully conceptualize and produce some of his most popular and revered works. For instance, The Irishman, the movie that preceded Killers of The Flower Moon, reportedly started its development phase in 2007 and the film wasn’t released until 2019.
Silence, another one of Scorsese’s more recent works, which is based on Japanese author Shūsaku Endo’s 1966 novel of the same name, reportedly took a staggering 25 years to develop, finally premiering in 2016, after this “passion project” had been in development since 1990. Seeing as Scorsese is quite inclined to take several years to see his ideas come to life, it comes as no surprise that his latest work took seven years to develop, and evidenced by Killers of The Flower Moon’s rave reviews, it was definitely worth the wait.