Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Killers of the Flower Moon is referred to by Paul Schrader as a “idiot.”

Paul Schrader, an American screenwriter and filmmaker best known for his work on Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, the critically acclaimed films directed by Martin Scorsese, has offered his opinions on the latter’s most recent picture, Killers of the Flower Moon. Schrader said that although the film was fine, it might have been better if Leonardo DiCaprio had been the FBI agent looking into the Osage killings rather than Ernest Burkhart. During a recent interview, the director called Leonardo’s character a “idiot,” according to France’s Le Monde.

According to the movie, Ernest Burkhart was an American who worked as a hitman for his uncle William King Hale’s criminal organization during the Osage Indian killings. He was eventually found guilty of murdering Anna Brown, the sister of his wife Mollie Kyle, in 1926, and given a life sentence.

In an interview, Schrader said that he would rather see DiCaprio in a different part and that interacting with a foolish character for an extended period of time was exhausting. Leonardo DiCaprio could have played the fool, but I would have rather seen him play the policeman. Three and a half hours is a long time to spend with an idiot, he added.

According to reports, Scorsese had originally planned for DiCaprio to play FBI agent Tom White, who oversaw the 1920s Osage murder probe. To portray Ernest Burkhart, DiCaprio personally asked for a rewrite of the screenplay.

According to Scorsese, DiCaprio questioned the screenplay after it was developed, which caused the internal story to take center stage rather than the viewpoint of the outside bureau agents. As a result of this adjustment, DiCaprio’s depiction of Ernest Burkhart became the main character.

“Where is the core of this story? Leo asked me after I had been working on the screenplay for two years. After having meals and talks with the Osage, I concluded that “that tells the story.” Director Martin Scorsese told The Irish Times, “We felt the real story was coming from the inside, from Oklahoma, and not necessarily from the outside, with the bureau.”

The story of the movie also looked at the complicated connection between Lily Gladstone’s character, Ernest, and Mollie, a rich Osage lady. The effective rewriting of the screenplay brought Scorsese praise and accolades for the movie. Even though the movie received positive reviews for the most part, Schrader said he preferred Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, calling it “the best, most important film of this century.”

Killers of the Flower Moon has received praise and recognition despite conflicting views; it will premiere exclusively on Apple TV+ in 2024 after its VOD and internet platform debut.

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