Apple’s highly anticipated “Killers of the Flower Moon” from Martin Scorsese won’t be coming this Oscar season. The Western drama, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jesse Plemons, will instead be released in the originally intended 2023 calendar year.
Written by Eric Roth and adapted from the best-selling novel “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Grann, the film had been originally slated for 2023 by Apple. However, discussions between the filmmaker and the studio over bumping up the film’s release to 2022 occurred after Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars earlier this year changed Apple’s release strategy for its Smith-starring slavery drama “Emancipation.”
Scorsese is known for his arduous editing process with his frequent collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker. Despite wrapping in September 2021, the $200 million “Killers of the Flower Moon” won’t be ready in time for this Oscar season, according to sources. Instead, it’s now rumored to be eyeing a big 2023 festival debut at Cannes, Venice or another event.
Coming off its first best picture win for “CODA,” Apple still has multiple awards hopefuls in the cards for the upcoming awards season including the Sundance Film Festival winner “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and the animated feature “Luck,” plus upcoming features from star Jennifer Lawrence (“Causeway”), director Peter Farrelly (“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”) and producer Alfonso Cuarón (“Raymond & Ray”).
There are ongoing discussions about whether and how Apple could release the Will Smith headliner “Emancipation” from director Antoine Fuqua. Variety reported an impending move to 2023 back in May. Early rumors have suggested the movie could be a strong contender for the streamer if released. However, with Smith still quiet on his actions at the Oscars, it remains a huge question mark on how to put “Emancipation” before audiences and awards voters.
Deadline was first to report news of the delay.