The en-Plemons-ing of Hollywood continued apace today, as Deadline reports that Jesse Plemons—he of Fargo, Breaking Bad, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things, and an increasing number of projects in which a man is required to be both very nice and also maybe a multiple-murderer—has signed on for a starring role in Martin Scorsese’s new cinematic content, Killers Of The Flower Moon. In fact—and this really does feel like a bit of a sea change—Plemons is taking over a role that was originally assigned to Leonardo DiCaprio, who stepped back from the part to take on a smaller role.
Set in the 1920s, Scorsese’s latest will see Plemons play an FBI agent tasked with investigating the “Reign Of Terror,” a series of serial killings that struck the Oklahoma-adjacent Osage Nation throughout the first half of the decade. Largely unsolved, the murders may have ended up killing as many as 60 people, and are suspected to have been intended as a way for the perpetrators to gain control over the wealth of the oil-rich Osage territory. All of which is super heavy material, obviously, with all the racial and colonial implications (and the formation of the FBI, less than 20 years old at that point) having been previously addressed in David Grann’s 2017 non-fiction book Killers Of The Flower Moon, the source material for Scorsese’s film.
Per The Wrap, Plemons’ role was originally supposed to be played by Scorsese regular DiCaprio, who will now be playing Ernest Burkhart, a local man married to Osage Nation member Mollie (Lily Gladstone), and nephew of a “powerful local rancher” played by Robert De Niro. Produced by Apple Studios, the film is Scorsese’s latest since 2019's Netflix-debuted crime epic The Irishman.