Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is a heavy contender for a prestigious world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s still too early for it to be a lock, but it’s looking promising enough that Scorsese has reserved a suite at one of the posh hotels along the Croisette, sources tell Variety.
Thierry Fremaux, Cannes’ director, is preparing a massive 2023 edition and traveled to L.A. earlier this month to screen Scorsese’s movie and discuss other potential Hollywood titles.
Sources caution, however, that no formal offer has been made from Cannes and there is no final decision about whether Scorsese and company will embark on a trans-Atlantic promotional journey to France in May.
One of the aspects rumored to be weighing in favor of a Cannes rollout was DiCaprio’s desire to return to the festival, where he had a banner experience presenting Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” in 2019. The movie turned out to be a box office hit, garnering 10 Oscar nominations, and earning Brad Pitt a best supporting actor nod and Di Caprio would dearly love to repeat that experience.
“Killers of the Flower Moon,” a nearly-$200 million Western with DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser and Robert De Niro, would mark Scorsese’s first return to Cannes with a film since 1985. He has a longstanding bond with the French Riviera festival. Before presiding over the jury in 1998, Scorsese presented some of his most iconic early films in Cannes, notably “Taxi Driver” which won the Palme d’Or in 1976 and “The King of Comedy,” both headlined by De Niro. Having Scorsese and De Niro back on the Cannes red carpet together for a movie would be a significant achievement for Fremaux, who battled to get Netflix to premiere “The Irishman” there in 2019.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is based on David Grann’s non-fiction book and tracks the investigation of serial murders that plagued the Osage Nation during the 1920s after oil was discovered on their land. The murders prompted the newly-formed FBI to investigate. The movie was produced by Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas at Imperative.
The Cannes Film Festival lineup is expected to be unveiled during the third week of April. Dates for the 2023 edition are May 16-27.
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