Martin Scorsese says the "love story" is why he wanted to make Killers Of The Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese
(Image credit: Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor/Getty)

Martin Scorsese is always full of surprises. Throwing audiences continual curveballs, he followed up the haunting psychological thriller Shutter Island with the magical family adventure Hugo. After that he made the very adult and very wild The Wolf Of Wall Street, then turning his attention next to religious drama Silence, before making the gangster epic The Irishman. You simply never know which direction the legendary director is heading in, but one thing is for certain – it will always delight.

Which is something which is once again proven by his most recent work Killers Of The Flower Moon, a film that has already earned widespread critical acclaim. For instance, our Total Film review said that it "is worth every second" of its lengthy 206-minute runtime. 

Based on the book of the same name by journalist David Grann, the film tackles the real-life Osage Nation murders during the 1920s, all of which were committed after oil was discovered on their tribal land. Becoming known as "the Reign of Terror", it later led to the creation of the FBI. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, a white man who marries Lily Gladstone's Osage woman Mollie as part of the murderous scheme, intending to get rich through this union.

It's a fascinating story about an important chapter of American history that has largely been forgotten about, but one that still speaks to the present. However, whilst that did of course interest Scorsese, he admits that wasn't the factor which most drew him to the tale. Speaking to GamesRadar+ and other media on the red carpet at the recent BFI London Film Festival premiere of his film, Scorsese emphasised that the relationship between Ernest and Mollie is the reason why he wanted to make this movie.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Apple TV+)

He explained: "I became fascinated by it because of the love story between Leo [DiCaprio] and Lily's [Gladstone] characters, Ernest and Mollie. I just thought that with all that's going on, these two people were so in love. And yet, do they really know each other? Especially in a relationship like that, with their marriage and their children, she trusts him so much. He loves her but circumstances and a kind of special way of thinking, so to speak, which puts other people in inferior positions – this takes over.

"And are we all capable of that, really? It makes me think about that. If I was in that situation, what would I do? You know, I wonder. I hope not but I like to raise those questions for all of us."

As Scorsese states, it definitely is an intriguing relationship – as Ernest becomes more and more complicit in the conspiracy, we as an audience begin to question how genuine his love is. And the same is true for Mollie – despite everything that is happening, does she still love him? It's no wonder then that this twisted love affair drew the auteur in, as it ends up being the hook for audiences too.

Killers Of The Flower Moon will release in US and UK theaters on October 20. It will then be available to stream on Apple TV+ at a later, currently unspecified, date.

To find out what else is coming your way in 2023 and beyond, check out our guide to the upcoming movies to look forward to.

And to see how Killers Of The Flower Moon compares to the rest of the director's work, here's our ranking of the best Martin Scorsese movies.

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.