Director Martin Scorsese is ditching Paramount Pictures and heading to Apple. The filmmaker has signed a multi-year deal with Apple where he is moving his Sikelia Productions banner to develop film and TV projects for Apple TV+ that he will both produce and direct.
This isn’t really a surprise. After all, Paramount Pictures hasn’t really been a supporter of Scorsese and his work. His last two film projects were sold off to streaming services. The Irishman ended up going to Netflix and the Killers of the Flower Moon recently landed at Apple.
He must like the working relationship that he found with Apple, and I’m sure that they are more than happy to host a legendary director like Scorsese. They also probably offered him a dump truck full of money. Hell, they gave him the big $200+ million budget that he asked for Killers of the Flower Moon.
The film is based on the non-fiction book by David Grann, with a script written by Eric Roth. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro and the story is described as follows:
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Osage Indians were driven onto a presumed worthless expanse of land in northeastern Oklahoma. But their territory turned out to be atop one of the largest oil deposits in the United States; to obtain that oil, prospectors were required to pay the tribe for leases and royalties. By the 1920s, the members of Osage Nation had become the wealthiest people per capita in the world. And then the Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances.
When previously talking about the film, Scorsese explained:
“We think it’s a western. It happened in 1921-1922 in Oklahoma. They are certainly cowboys, but they have cars and also horses. The film is mainly about the Osage, an Indian tribe that was given horrible territory, which they loved because they said to themselves that Whites would never be interested in it. Then we discovered oil there and, for about ten years, the Osage became the richest people in the world, per capita. Then, as with the Yukon and the Colorado mining regions, the vultures disembark, the White man, the European arrives, and all was lost. There, the underworld had such control over everything that you were more likely to go to jail for killing a dog than for killing an Indian.”
The film is in pre-production and expected to get underway in February 2021 in Oklahoma. It’s great to see that Scorsese has found a home where his film projects will be pushed forward and appreciated.