While Martin Scorsese‘s Killers of the Flower Moon already has heavy-hitters like Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, it looks like the lead of the film will be played by none other than Jesse Plemons, who worked with Scorsese previously on The Irishman. Plemons is taking a role that was originally intended for DiCaprio, but DiCaprio preferred to step into a more supporting part instead. Killers of the Flower Moon is based on the book by David Grann, which tells the true story of how members of the Osage Nation were targeted for murder in 1920s Oklahoma. Plemons will play Tom White, the lead FBI agent investigating the murders.

Multiple outlets are reporting the news that Jesse Plemons is now part of the Killers of the Flower Moon cast, and that he’s playing the lead to boot. This is a bit of a big deal, as it has Plemons taking on a role originally intended for Leonardo DiCaprio. Plemons is an almost-always-great character actor who tends to play supporting characters, so to have him step into a part initially written for a huge star like DiCaprio is significant. Good for you, Jesse Plemons! We’re all rooting for you!

Eric Roth wrote the Killers of the Flower Moon script, which is based on a true story and the book by David Grann. Here’s the book’s synopsis:

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered.

As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Plemons is now playing Tom White, a part that was originally earmarked for DiCaprio, but it was previously reported that DiCaprio decided that he’d rather play Ernest Burkhart, a more villainous character. DiCaprio’s change of heart caused Paramount to suddenly get nervous about the movie’s large budget – their reasoning being audiences would rather pay money to see DiCaprio as a good guy instead of an antagonist. As a result of Paramount’s cold feet, Apple swooped in and rescued the film, with DiCaprio sticking with the Burkhart part. De Niro will play DiCaprio’s uncle, a powerful local rancher, while Certain Women breakout Lily Gladstone will play Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman married to DiCaprio’s character.

There’s no Killers of the Flower Moon release date set yet, but production is expected to begin this month and last for at least 16 weeks.

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