Jesse Plemons will take the lead role in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming thriller Killers of the Flower Moon. The Breaking Bad and Game Night actor will play the part originally intended for Leonardo DiCaprio, who will now take a supporting role.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Plemons will star alongside DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone in the film, which will be produced by Apple. Killers of the Flower Moon is set in 1920s Oklahoma during a time when the Osage Nation Native American tribe found oil under their homeland. After this discovery, high-ranking members of the Native American group were murdered one by one.
Plemons will play Tom White, the FBI agent leading the investigation into the murders. DiCaprio was initially cast in this role, but in November it was reported that he had chosen to play the more villainous role as Ernest Burkhart, the nephew of a powerful rancher who might be involved with the killings. De Niro will play the rancher, while Gladstone plays Burkhart’s wife.
Killers of the Flower Moon will start production in the spring. However, Plemons’ involvement will mean that he won’t be able to star in Jordan Peele’s mysterious new thriller, which is set to shoot at the same time. Last week it was reported that Plemons had been in talks for that movie, which will star Keke Palmer.
According to reports, Scorsese originally brought Killers of the Flower Moon to Netflix–the company that financed his extremely expensive mobster movie The Irishman–but Apple came in with a higher bid. Netflix was reportedly ready to pay $215 million for the film, but Apple made a better offer.
In related news, Scorsese was in the news this week for comments he made about the current state of streaming. In an essay for Harper’s Bazaar, the director argued that a lack of curation in the major services like Netflix and Amazon was leading to the devaluation of cinema.