Paul Schrader Says Leonardo DiCaprio Shouldn’t Have Played the ‘Idiot’ in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

The “Taxi Driver” screenwriter critiqued Martin Scorsese’s latest epic, adding, “Spending three-and-a-half hours in the company of an idiot is a long time”

Paul Schrader
Paul Schrader (Credit: Getty Images)

Paul Schrader is back to sharing his brash opinions on today’s movies, this time taking aim at his “Taxi Driver” collaborator Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

In a recent interview with Le Monde, The screenwriter and director criticized the casting of Scorsese’s film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro.

Schrader shared that he would have “preferred Leonardo DiCaprio to play the role of the cop in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ rather than the role of the idiot.” 

“Spending three-and-a-half hours in the company of an idiot is a long time,” he added. 

DiCaprio was, in fact, initially cast to play FBI agent Tom White (ultimately played by Jesse Plemons), though it remained unclear if Schrader was privy to that casting tidbit. Early “Killers of the Flower Moon” scripts centered on his efforts to investigate the string of Osage murders in the 1920s before Scorsese flipped the script to focus on the Osage Nation and the men guilty of murdering them for oil money.

Schrader naturally had some words of praise for Scorsese saying, “Marty compares me to a Flemish miniaturist. He would rather be the type to paint Renaissance frescoes.”

“Give him $200 million, a good film will inevitably come out of it,” Schrader said. 

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