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kottke.org posts about trailers

Queendom

Queendom is a documentary film by Agniia Galdanova about queer Russian activist and performance artist Jenna Marvin and her unusual form of protest against the war in Ukraine and Russia’s treatment of LGBTQ+ people. From a short review in the Guardian:

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, some brave souls took to the streets of Moscow to voice their horror at the war, and were met with batons and police brutality. Radical queer performance artist Gena Marvin took a different approach. Wearing platform boots, body paint and wrapped in barbed wire, she walked the streets of Moscow in a stark, silent statement against the war. To call Gena a drag artist fails to capture just how subversive and courageous are her public “performances”. Her otherworldly costumes, created from junk and tape, show the influence of Leigh Bowery; her fearlessness evokes the punk provocation of Pussy Riot.

Marvin’s performances can be intense — check out this video from Paris in 2022. France had just advanced into the semifinals of the World Cup and she went out on the streets dressed in an all-black costume straight out of Alien or Pan’s Labyrinth:

Queendom opens in theaters and will available on streaming on June 14.

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Trailer for Season Two of The Rings of Power

I am apparently one of the few people who really liked the first season of the Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power. I mean, it had its rough spots and maybe there was a little too much table-setting, but in general it left me wanting to see what was going to happen next. The trailer for season two just dropped and it looks pretty action-packed and stocked with characters & events that would be familiar to those who have read the main book series. Here’s the synopsis:

Sauron has returned. Cast out by Galadriel, without army or ally, the rising Dark Lord must now rely on his own cunning to rebuild his strength and oversee the creation of the Rings of Power, which will allow him to bind all the peoples of Middle-earth to his sinister will. Building on Season One’s epic scope and ambition, the new season plunges even its most beloved and vulnerable characters into a rising tide of darkness, challenging each to find their place in a world that is increasingly on the brink of calamity. Elves and dwarves, orcs and men, wizards and Harfoots… as friendships are strained and kingdoms begin to fracture, the forces of good will struggle ever more valiantly to hold on to what matters to them most of all… each other.

And they also released a behind-the-scenes look at the production of season two:

The second season of The Rings of Power premieres on August 29 on Amazon Prime.

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The Trailer for Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis

Francis Ford Coppola has been making Megalopolis since 1983 and has self funded it “in part by the sale of a significant portion of the director’s wine empire”. But the trailer is finally here and it premieres at Cannes in two days’ time. Here’s a synopsis shared by Coppola himself:

A man balances precariously on a ledge high above a once-grand city in the opening scene of Francis Ford Coppola’s MEGALOPOLIS, and the movie that follows is — at least in part — about an entire civilization teetering on a similarly precarious ledge, devouring itself in a whirl of unchecked greed, self-absorption, and political propaganda, while a few bold dreamers push against the tide, striving to usher in a new dawn. The man is called Caesar (Adam Driver), like the Roman general who gave rise to the Roman Empire, Cesar the labor leader who organized California’s farm workers in the 1960s, and a few other notably great men of history. But he is also clearly an avatar of Coppola himself — a grand visionary witnessing a once-great thing (call it cinema if you must) withering before his very eyes and determined to revivify it. And, after decades of planning, MEGALOPOLIS the movie is the powerful elixir he has produced: a sweeping, big-canvas movie of provocative ideas and relentless cinematic invention that belies its maker’s 84 years of age.

Coppola seems to have been born-again by a strike of filmic lightning, and the movie — no, the experience (complete with in-theater “live cinema”) — that has emerged feels at once the work of a film-school wunderkind unbowed by notions of convention, but also the work of a wizened master who knows much about life and the ways of the world. To paraphrase Coppola himself speaking decades ago about his APOCALYPSE NOW, MEGALOPOLIS isn’t a movie about the end of the world as we know it, it is the end of the world as we know it. Only, where APOCALYPSE left us in a napalm-bombed fever-dream haze, MEGALOPOLIS, surprisingly and movingly, bestows on us a final image glowing with hope for the future.

You should also watch this clip of the film shared by Coppola, which reveals another aspect of the story:

This is either going to be amazing or a beautiful disaster, but either way I’m excited to see it…if they can find someone to distribute the film.

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The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed

Here is a pleasantly painful trailer for a new movie from the filmmaker Joanna Arnow. It opens this Friday, April 26, at IFC and Lincoln Center in NYC. I don’t know if I’m going to watch it, but I couldn’t really look away.

Arnow also stars as…

an emotionally detached young Brooklynite drifting through unremarkable days and nights. Neither her on-again-off-again BDSM relationship with a mildly disinterested older dom, nor her nondescript corporate job, appear to bring her any satisfaction.

And yet “she finds a core of poignant truth about the ways people search for … emotional happiness and sexual gratification” (per the Lincoln Center summary). It’s currently at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, FWIW. (This bit also made me laugh out loud.)

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Join or Die

Join or Die is a documentary about the life, work, and ideas of Robert Putnam, popularizer of the concept of social capital and author of the prescient Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

How many times last year did you go to church? How many times did you go to a dinner party? How many times last year did you go to club meeting? In barely a couple of decades, half of all the civic infrastructure in America has simply vanished. It’s equivalent to say half of all the roads in America just disappeared.

(via colossal)

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The Superb Owl Trailers

Here are all the cool new movie trailers that they played during The Big Game™. Or, the ones that I give a shit about anyway. First up, Deadpool and Wolverine:

Did I even see the second Deadpool movie? Does it matter? I’ll see this one. Next: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

Apes in charge, running down the humans? I’m in. There’s also Despicable Me 4 (a franchise I like more than I care to admit), The Fall Guy (based on the 80s TV show I very much didn’t watch; starring, somehow, Ryan Gosling & Emily Blunt — I hope this is a pleasant surprise), and Twisters (the Twister sequel no one asked for).

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Orion and the Dark

This is the trailer for Orion and the Dark, an animated kids movie written by Charlie Kaufman. Yes, the I’m Thinking of Ending Things; Synecdoche, New York; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Charlie Kaufman. And it’s getting pretty good reviews so far. The AV Club:

Orion And The Dark may look almost nothing like any Charlie Kaufman film to date, but it bears his personality. While that might be a bit much for the youngest kids, for 11-year-olds like those depicted in this story, it may strike a chord simply by refusing to underestimate their intelligence.

The movie is based on a book of the same name by Emma Yarlett and will be out on Netflix on Feb 2.

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The Trailer for Adam Sandler’s Spaceman

Adam Sandler in a movie about space… I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I clicked play on the trailer for Spaceman this morning. Was I going to get Waterboy / Billy Madison Adam Sandler or Uncut Gems / Punch-Drunk Love Adam Sandler? Thankfully, it appears to be the latter. Spaceman is directed by Johan Renck (who directed the excellent Chernobyl) and is based on Jaroslav Kalfař’s 2017 novel Spaceman of Bohemia.

Six months into a solitary research mission to the edge of the solar system, an astronaut, Jakub (Adam Sandler), realizes that the marriage he left behind might not be waiting for him when he returns to Earth. Desperate to fix things with his wife, Lenka (Carey Mulligan), he is helped by a mysterious creature from the beginning of time he finds hiding in the bowels of his ship. Hanus (voiced by Paul Dano) works with Jakub to make sense of what went wrong before it is too late.

Spaceman is out on March 1 on Netflix.

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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

I’m still catching up from being blissfully away from the internet in December so apologies to those of you for which this is old news, but Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga looks %$&*#@ good. My expectations for this film couldn’t be any higher — Fury Road was one of my favorite films of the past 10 years. Crucially, the Furiosa production team includes editor Margaret Sixel and several other folks who won awards for Fury Road — that’s a great sign.

See also An Oral History of Mad Max: Fury Road and Max Mad: Fury Road Sped Up 12X Is Still Watchable.

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Origin, a Film by Ava DuVernay About Isabel Wilkerson

I had forgotten that Ava DuVernay was working on an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s excellent Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. I think the assumption was that DuVernay was going to make a documentary, but interestingly, she’s adapted it into a biographical drama called Origin instead (trailer above).

Origin chronicles the tragedy and triumph of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson as she investigates a global phenomenon of epic proportions. Portrayed by Academy Award nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (“King Richard”), Isabel experiences unfathomable personal loss and love as she crosses continents and cultures to craft one of the defining American books of our time. Inspired by the New York Times best-seller “Caste,” ORIGIN explores the mystery of history, the wonders of romance and a fight for the future of us all.

I’m intrigued! Origin is set for a wide release in theaters on Jan 19th.

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World of Goo 2!

{Hyperventilating slightly} They’re making a World of Goo 2 15 years after the original one was released?! Holy smokes! I loved World of Goo back in the day and I can’t wait to play this sequel. (via waxy)

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A Stranger Quest: David Rumsey’s Marvelous Map Collection

The David Rumsey Map Collection is one of the true gems of the web: a massive trove of maps & related images from over 40 years of collecting.

Rumsey began building a collection of North and South American historical maps and related cartographic materials in 1980. Eventually the collection expanded to include historical maps of the entire world, from the 16th to the 21st centuries. His collection, with more than 200,000 maps, is one of the largest private map collections in the United States.

Italian filmmaker Andrea Gatopoulos has made a documentary film called A Stranger Quest about Rumsey’s passion for maps. Here’s the trailer:

And because I can’t resist, a few maps from the collection:

a map of the world from the 1450s

a world map from 1492

a data visualization of the length of rivers and the height of mountains

snippets of maps that say the word 'lighthouse'

That last one is a screenshot of the results for “lighthouse” from their new Text-On-Maps search capability.

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A 2-Minute Clip From 3 Body Problem

The premiere date for the Netflix adaptation of Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Problem trilogy by Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff inches ever closer and, well, I just really want this to be good (because I enjoyed the book series so much). Between the teaser trailer and the clip above, I am cautiously optimistic. 3 Body Problem is out on Netflix on March 21, 2024.


Fungi: Web of Life

Fungi: Web of Life is an upcoming IMAX documentary on mushrooms & their fungi brethren narrated by Björk and presented by Merlin Sheldrake.

Join acclaimed British biologist, Dr. Merlin Sheldrake, on a quest to find an incredibly precious blue mushroom, against the backdrop of Tasmania’s ancient Tarkine rainforest. Merlin will show us some the grandest and strangest organisms ever discovered, showcased through jaw-dropping time-lapse cinematography, in a landscape largely unchanged from the time of the dinosaurs. Fungi have important lessons to teach humanity about survival through cooperation. Indeed, these incredible lifeforms may hold the key to solving some of humanity’s most urgent problems. With millions more species to discover, our journey into the secret world of fungi has only just begun.

Sheldrake is the author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures.


Trailer for Stamped From the Beginning

Based on the bestselling book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (also available as a graphic novel), this documentary explores the mythology of American racism and how it still shapes the world today. The director is Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams and in preparing for the film, he decided that only Black women would appear in it:

“When we started looking at historians and scholars, we came up with a long list. I noticed the pattern that most of the people doing the work around racism in America were Black women,” Williams told Netflix. “I asked them in pre-interviews, ‘Why do you do this work?’ And many of them said the same thing — that they had no choice. This was their experience and their life. And if they’re going to dedicate their life to something, it’s going to be about changing and understanding racism in America because they can’t escape racism in America. I said to everyone, ‘We’re going to have only Black women in this film.’ It was an important statement to make.

Stamped From the Beginning comes out on Netflix on November 20.


The Official Trailer for Season Four of For All Mankind

Last month we got a glimpse of the newest season of the Apple+ series For All Mankind (“Imagine a world where the global space race never ended.”) in the form of a teaser trailer that did not give a whole lot away. Well, a proper trailer has dropped and it looks like the gang will be colonizing Mars and harvesting precious metals from asteroids. as I wrote last month:

Is it just me or, if you tilt your head and squint, can you see For All Mankind as a prequel/origin story for The Expanse?

It is maybe too much to ask of a prestige drama these days, but it would be cool to see the birth & development of a Belter-like language a la the beginnings of an Antarctic accent.


The Trailer for All the Light We Cannot See

This new series from Netflix looks pretty good — and it’s got an impeccable pedigree: it’s based on Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, a Pulitzer Prize winner, National Book Award finalist, and a bestseller to boot. The four-part limited series premieres November 2nd.


Coming Soon: Planet Earth III

Planet Earth III will begin airing later this year on BBC and, presumably, at some later time in the US. The latest installment in the legendary series, 17 years after the first one was released, will once again be presented by Sir David Attenborough, now 97 years old and still as enthusiastic about sharing the wonders of nature as he ever was.

‘The opening of the series with David was filmed in the beautiful British countryside in exactly the location where Charles Darwin used to walk whilst thinking-over his Earth-shaking ideas about evolution. It seemed the perfect place for David to introduce Planet Earth III and remind us of both the wonders and the fragility of our planet. ….and for him, of course, the sun shined under blue skies one of the only days it did all summer!.’

The video above is a quick first look at the series and here’s a trailer as well:

Looking forward to this…the Planet Earth series is still the gold standard for nature documentaries.


A Teaser Trailer for Season Four of For All Mankind

The first teaser trailer for season four of the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind takes the form of a recruitment video encouraging people to join the burgeoning workforce in space. It doesn’t give us much in the way of plot or character updates, but here’s the season synopsis (spoilers if you’re not caught up to the end of season three):

Rocketing into the new millennium in the eight years since Season 3, Happy Valley has rapidly expanded its footprint on Mars by turning former foes into partners. Now 2003, the focus of the space program has turned to the capture and mining of extremely valuable, mineral-rich asteroids that could change the future of both Earth and Mars. But simmering tensions between the residents of the now-sprawling international base threaten to undo everything they are working towards.

I have to admit my interest in the show waned a bit after the first season, but it’s still a pretty great show and I will be tuning in for season four on November 10. And is it just me or, if you tilt your head and squint, can you see For All Mankind as a prequel/origin story for The Expanse? (via gizmodo)


The Trailer for The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki’s Final Film

It is with the appropriate feelings of melancholy and excitement that I share with you the teaser trailer for The Boy and the Heron, the legendary Hayao Miyazaki’s final animated feature film for Studio Ghibli.

A young boy named Mahito, yearning for his mother, ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead.

There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.

A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation, in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

Miyazaki had previously retired after 2013’s The Wind Rises but according to Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, he had good reason to come back for one more film:

Miyazaki is making the new film for his grandson. It’s his way of saying, ‘Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving behind this film.’

The Boy and the Heron opens on December 8 in the US. (via waxy)


The Trailer for Michael Mann’s Ferrari

Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari — a little too on the nose? Michael Mann hasn’t made a film since 2015’s Blackhat and hasn’t made an award-winning film since 2004’s Collateral, so it’s nice to see him back in the director’s chair. The film is based on Brock Yates’ 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine.

Next to the Pope, Ferrari was the most revered man in Italy. But was he the benign padrone portrayed by an adoring world press at the time, or was he a ruthless despot, who drove his staff to the edge of madness, and his racing drivers even further?

Brock Yates’s definitive biography penetrated Ferrari’s elaborately constructed veneer and uncovered the truth behind Ferrari’s bizarre relationships, his work with Mussolini’s fascists, and his fanatical obsession with speed.

Ferrari just premiered at the Venice Film Festival and early reviews are mostly positive but not overwhelmingly so. The film opens on Dec 25 in the US.


Trailer for Errol Morris’s The Pigeon Tunnel

Oh yay, I had been wondering just the other day what Errol Morris has been up to and it turns out to be a project with Apple TV+ called The Pigeon Tunnel, which is billed as the final interview with espionage novelist John le Carré (born David Cornwell).

It’s terribly difficult to recruit for a secret service. You’re looking for somebody who’s a bit bad, but at the same time, loyal. There’s a type. And I fit it perfectly.

The movie has the same title and covers some of the same ground as le Carré’s 2016 memoir, probably with more of an emphasis on Morris’s general obsession with what constitutes truth. More info on the film from the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie is premiering on Sept 11:

Cornwell once worked for the British spy agencies MI5 and MI6. He sparingly gave interviews, but accepted Morris’ invitation because he saw it “as something definitive.” He had already begun a process of opening up in his memoir The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life.

Crucial to the narrative is the author’s relationship to his father Ronnie, an inveterate gambler and con artist. Cornwell’s mother disappeared when he was five, so his main frame of reference was the world of his father, who was endlessly on the run from the mob or the police. The title The Pigeon Tunnel comes from Cornwell’s experience as a child going to Monte Carlo with Ronnie. Imprinted on his memory was a shooting range on the top of a cliff. Beneath the grass was a tunnel from which trapped pigeons were ejected over the sea as targets.

The Pigeon Tunnel will be out on Apple TV+ on Oct 20, 2023.


Teaser Trailer for David Fincher’s The Killer

Ahh, it seems like only yesterday that I read the news about David Fincher’s upcoming film The Killer. And it was. So now here’s the teaser trailer — interest piqued. What will tomorrow bring?

The Killer stars Michael Fassbender and will make its premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept 3, then a limited release in theaters, and then will be streaming on Netflix on Nov 10. As a refresher, here’s what Fincher has been up to lately-ish: directed Mank (2020) & Mindhunter (2017-2019), executive produced Voir and Love, Death & Robots (also directed one episode). Fun Fincher Facts: he was apparently an assistant cameraman for Return of the Jedi and did “matte photography” for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


Copa 71 — the First Unofficial Women’s World Cup

Produced by Venus & Serena Williams and US soccer star Alex Morgan and directed by Rachel Ramsay & James Erskine, Copa 71 is a forthcoming documentary about a women’s soccer tournament that took place in Mexico City in 1971 that was the first, albeit unofficial, Women’s World Cup. A short teaser trailer is above. From a piece in Variety about the film:

In August 1971, more than 100,000 football fans packed Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium for a historic tournament. Teams from England, France, Denmark, Argentina and Italy flew in for 21 days of matches alongside Mexico’s national team, while eager sponsors lined up for a piece of the action. The players, who received a hero’s welcome wherever they went, might as well have been the Rolling Stones.

They were, in fact, a group of around 100 women — many of them teenagers — taking part in a pioneering unofficial Women’s World Cup. And just as quickly as they tasted fame, it was snatched away as the tournament was all but erased from football history.

Many of the competitors were just teenagers — from Wikipedia:

England’s team included 13-year-old Leah Caleb, 14-year-old Gill Sayell, and 15-year-old Chris Lockwood; their captain was 19-year-old Carol Wilson and they were accompanied by referee Pat Dunn as a chaperone and trainer. 15-year-old Susanne Augustesen scored a hat-trick for Denmark as they beat Mexico 3-0 in the final.

Copa 71 is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in September and then hopefully will find its way into theaters and onto streaming. (thx, meg)


The Trailer for Ridley Scott’s Napoleon

Well, this looks good: Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby star as Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte in Ridley Scott’s forthcoming film about the French dictator. The film will be out in theaters on November 22 and on Apple+ sometime after that.


The Full Trailer for Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon

Oh boy. I thought the teaser trailer was good, but the full trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon just dropped and I am. So. Excited. To. SEE. THIS!

At the turn of the 20th century, oil brought a fortune to the Osage Nation, who became some of the richest people in the world overnight. The wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted white interlopers, who manipulated, extorted, and stole as much Osage money as they could before resorting to murder.

Once again, it’s based on David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, which I highly recommend. Grann + Scorsese appears to be a potent combination — the latter is already signed on to adapt Grann’s latest bestseller, The Wager.


The Trailer for 3 Body Problem

I loved Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem trilogy (read it twice!) and was excited/apprehensive when Netflix announced they’d partnered with Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to adapt the books into a TV series. Well, the first trailer is here and has tipped my scales more towards excited. Really looking forward to when this premieres in January March 2024 — if they get it right, this could be something really special.


The Spider-Verse Lego Scene Was Created By a 14-Year-Old Animator

After 14-year-old Preston Mutanga’s Lego version of the trailer for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (embedded above) went viral, the team hired him to animate a short Lego sequence for the actual film.

In the brief scene, we see a Lego version of Peter Parker as he observes a dimensional anomaly and sneaks off to the Daily Bugle’s bathroom to alert another Spider-Man about the issue. While the scene is short, it killed in my theater and it also looked as good as anything in the recent Lego films. After seeing it, a few friends of mine even commented that it must have been the same team that animated it. But nope! It was a lone teenager, actually.

You can check out more of Mutanga’s work on his YouTube channel.


Swimming Pool Stories

Icelandic filmmaker Jón Karl Helgason has made a film called Sundlaugasögur (Swimming Pool Stories) about the central role of the swimming pool in Icelandic life. The trailer is above. From Fatherly:

The swimming pool is first and foremost a communal space. “The swimming pool is your second home,” Helgason says. “You are brought up in the swimming pool.” There may be only 160, or so, swimming pools in the entire country (which is roughly 305 miles wide by 105 miles long), but every one of them is the essential social hub of a community, large or small.

The swimming pool is a public utility — as critical as the grocery store or the bank. “The British go to the pub, the French go to the cafes — in our culture, you meet in the swimming pool,” says Helgason. Swimmers come from all walks of life, from farmers to artists to clergymen to celebrities. “You can have 10, 15, 20, 30 people [in the pool] — they’re talking about politics and about their lives.”


Watch the Trailer for Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon

I’ve been waiting patiently on this one: the teaser trailer for Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s based on the fantastic book by David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

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.

The movie will be out in theaters on October 6. Oh, and Scorsese & DiCaprio have already signed on to adapt Grann’s latest book, The Wager, which I recently read and loved.