It’s official: Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro are going to star opposite each other in Martin Scorsese’s next movie, Killers of the Flower Moon. The last time the two Academy Award-winners appeared together in a film was in 1993’s This Boy’s Life, based on the memoir of the same name written by Tobias Wolff.
Incidentally, that film contains what is probably De Niro’s most underrated role. He plays Dwight Hansen, a deranged and abusive stepfather.
Along with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, This Boy’s Life thrust DiCaprio into the limelight. He starred in The Basketball Diaries two years later, and became a household name thanks to his role in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. Titanic was released the following year, and the rest is history.
Scorsese, of course, has worked with both De Niro and DiCaprio extensively, though never in the same movie. That will change with Killers of the Flower Moon.
DiCaprio announced the upcoming collaboration during a speech at the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards, in which he introduced De Niro for his Lifetime Achievement award.
“When I think of this extraordinary actor, one thing comes to mind,” DiCaprio said: “Robert De Niro is elemental. It feels as if he’s always been here, and always will be here. Like so many of you here tonight, he was the actor I watched as a young man obsessed with films.”
Speaking of his experience with De Niro on the set of This Boy’s Life, DiCaprio said:
“To share scenes with an artist of his magnitude was monumental. It was a life-changing experience. His commitment to character, his specificity in detail, and his fearless pursuit of authenticity in his work have influenced not only myself but entire generations.”
He proceeded to praise Scorsese and call the Scorsese-De Niro partnership “arguably the greatest in cinema history.”
“I’ve learned so much from the both of them,” he said. “I’m fortunate to call them collaborators, Bob since This Boy’s Life and Marty since Gangs of New York, and after 30 years to work alongside Bob again in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming drama Killers of the Flower Moon is a true honor.”
The film is based on the nonfiction book of the same name by David Grann, which investigates a series of murders committed against the Osage Indian tribe in Oklahoma in the 1920s. The screenplay was written by Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Principal photography will begin in March.