Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon bowed at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday evening and was welcomed with a standing ovation lasting approximately nine minutes.
During his remarks from the premiere, Scorsese said, “We shot this a couple years ago in Oklahoma and it’s taken its time to come around. Apple did so great by us shooting out there.” He also said, “I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like this.”
The Apple Original Films Western crime drama, which clocks in at three hours and 26 minutes, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro, will get distributed theatrically in France and the U.S. by Paramount.
The premiere was packed with celebrity friends and former collaborators of DiCaprio and Scorsese, as well as actors appearing in other films across the Cannes selection. Among those to walk the red carpet steps of the Palais des Festivals were Tobey Maguire, Cate Blanchett, Paul Dano, Salma Hayek, Naomi Cambell, Tye Sheridan, Alfonso Cuaron, Indiana Jones 5 director James Mangold, and more. And in a show of corporate power, Apple CEO Tim Cook walked the carpet alongside the film’s starry cast.
Scorsese and screenwriter Eric Roth adapted the movie from David Grann’s best-selling 2017 nonfiction book of the same name. It centers on an FBI investigation of a series of murders of the Osage people that took place in Oklahoma in the early 1920s that became known as the Reign of Terror after oil was discovered on tribal land.
In his sixth teaming with Scorsese, DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, the nephew of cattleman William Hale (De Niro). Gladstone, who is of Blackfeet and Nimíipuu heritage and first broke out in Kelly Reichardt’s 2017 film Certain Women, plays Mollie Kyle, an Osage woman who has inherited an oil fortune. The cast also includes Jesse Plemons as Tom White, a former Texas Ranger investigating the murders, and Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion and Tantoo Cardinal.
Scorsese — who has previously had numerous films play at Cannes both in competition (including Taxi Driver, which won the Palme d’Or in 1976, and After Hours, for which he was awarded 1985’s best director prize) and out of it (numerous documentaries) — and Apple opted not to take up Cannes festival boss Thierry Fremaux on his offer to screen the film in competition.