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Martin Scorsese Defends 3.5-Hour Runtime For Killers Of The Flower Moon

Scorsese's last movie, The Irishman, was even longer.

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Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese's next movie, Killers of the Flower Moon, has a runtime of 3 hours and 26 minutes. That's longer than the theatrical version of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (3 hours and 21 minutes). Some people think this is very long, or too long, but Scorsese says movie fans should "give cinema some respect" and enjoy the movie, despite its lengthy runtime.

"People say it's three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours," he told the Hindustan Times. "Also, there are many people who watch theatre for 3.5 hours. There are real actors on stage, you can't get up and walk around. You give it that respect, give cinema some respect."

Scorsese's last movie, The Irishman, was even longer. It clocked in at 209 minutes, or 3 hours and 29 minutes. That film was so long that some wanted it to be a TV series.

For Killers of the Flower Moon, its story is based on the book of the same name by David Grann. The novel covers so much material and depth that fans of the book are wondering what might be cut or changed to make it to film.

Killers of the Flower Moon tells the real-life story of the systematic murder of members of the Osage in Oklahoma in the early 1900s. Massive deposits of oil were discovered under their land, and one by one, members of the group were murdered. The story covers these murders and the response from political leaders in Washington, D.C., including the formation of the modern-day F.B.I.

Scorsese has spoken about how the script for Killers of the Flower Moon story was changed mid-development because the story was focusing too much on "the white guys." Additionally, Leonardo DiCaprio was hired to play the lead FBI agent, Tom White, but Jesse Plemons is now playing that part. Robert De Niro plays the main antagonist, William Hale.

Killers of the Flower Moon also stars Lily Gladstone. It releases in theaters on October 20, and will come to Apple TV+ later.

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