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How Ari Aster Influenced Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon

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Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon draws some inspiration from Ari Aster’s work, says the legendary director.

In an interview with The Irish Times, Scorsese revealed that Aster — a director that Scorsese has praised often — and his films Midsommar and Beau is Afraid were sources of inspiration for the director on his upcoming film. Specifically, “the style and pacing of good horror films” like those is something he enjoys.

“I very much like the style and pacing of good horror films like Ari Aster’s Midsommar or Beau Is Afraid,” said Scorsese. “The pacing of those films goes back to the B films of Val Lewton, Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People or I Walked With a Zombie. Just going a little slower. A little quieter.”

Scorsese went on to say that he didn’t want to cut out things that he thought were crucial and hoped fans would be able to allow themselves to be immersed in the film.

“I was very concerned about allowing scenes that were not narrative into the story, scenes to do with the Osage culture — leaving in those scenes of custom, like the baby namings, the funerals and the weddings — so we could begin to understand a little more about the people,” Scorsese said. “I felt confident that a lot of people would allow themselves to be immersed in the world of the film. One has to take these chances. At this age, what else can I do?”

What is Killers of the Flower Moon about?

Set in 1920s Oklahoma, Killers of the Flower Moon depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. Joining Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone are Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow, Brendan Fraser, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Tatanka Means, Michael Abbott Jr., Pat Healy, Scott Shepherd, Jason Isbell, and Sturgill Simpson.

“At the turn of the 20th century, oil brought a fortune to the Osage Nation, who became some of the richest people in the world overnight,” the official synopsis reads. “The wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted white interlopers, who manipulated, extorted, and stole as much Osage money as they could before resorting to murder. Based on a true story and told through the improbable romance of Ernest Burkhart and Mollie Kyle, Killers of the Flower Moon is an epic western crime saga, where real love crosses paths with unspeakable betrayal.”

The film is directed and produced by Scorsese from a screenplay he co-wrote with Eric Roth. it is produced by Dan Friedkin, Bradly Thomas, and Daniel Lupi, with DiCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer, and Niels Juul serving as executive producers.