Apple Original Films has set a theatrical release date for Martin Scorsese’s next film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which will open in select cities on Oct. 6 before expanding nationwide on Oct. 20 ahead of a release on Apple TV+.
Paramount will be a distribution partner on the film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone and tells the story of the murders of multiple Osage people in Oklahoma in the 1920s after oil was discovered on tribal land. DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, nephew of the murderous cattle tycoon William Hale, who is played by Robert De Niro.
Gladstone, an indigenous actor of Blackfeet and Nimíipuu heritage, plays Mollie Kyle, an Osage woman who inherits oil-rich land. Jesse Plemons also stars as Tom White, a former Texas ranger who investigates the Osage murders. The film is expected to premiere in May at the Cannes Film Festival.
The wide theatrical release for Scorsese’s film marks a significant departure from Apple’s past theatrical strategy, which placed films like the Best Picture Oscar winner “CODA” in select cities for a limited engagement before releasing them on Apple TV+. Bloomberg reported this past week that Apple plans to spend up to $1 billion on theatrical films per year in an effort to gain a foothold in the box office and draw eyes to its streaming service.
While the release of a new Scorsese film will undoubtedly be seen as a can’t-miss event by cinephiles, it remains to be seen whether “Killers of the Flower Moon” will gain a significant theatrical audience after dramas like “She Said,” “Women Talking” and “The Fabelmans” struggled to sell tickets last fall. The film’s wide Oct. 20 release date will see it released alongside Sony Pictures’ “Dumb Money,” a true-story dramedy about the 2021 short squeeze of GameStop’s stock.