Dune screenwriter Eric Roth has been speaking to IndieWire about some of his highly acclaimed and award-winning screenplays, including Forrest Gump, The Insider, Ali, Munich and A Star is Born. He also spoke about his upcoming collaboration with Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon – which will be eyeing an awards-season run later this year.
Now aged 77, Roth is showing no signs of slowing down, with upcoming scripts for a Cher biopic, a Netflix romance starring Chris Hemsworth as “a rock and roll guy,” and re-teaming with Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks on graphic novel adaptation Here.
Roth’s next film will be an adaptation of David Grann’s 2017 non-fiction book about The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, which has been transformed into a $200-million Western starring regular Scorsese collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. It also stars Jesse Plemons (who co-leads with DiCaprio), Brendan Fraser, John Lithgow and Lily Gladstone. It’s coming to Apple TV, according to Roth; “When you’d assume – next November. I’ve heard he’s (Scorsese, along with his usual editor Thelma Schoonmaker) well on his way to getting the editing done.”
While Apple have not yet provided an official release date, it’s safe to assume that with all of the talent involved, Killers of the Flower Moon will be receiving a big awards push. When asked about working on a movie based on a true story, Roth said; “Well, I’ve done that before in (Steven Spielberg‘s) Munich and when Michael Mann and I did Ali. I’ve done that kind of bio. But this was a unique story that I knew nothing about. It showed my ignorance. I thought, “It’s unbelievable, it could be a Western.” Marty’s never done a Western. It’s the first time you’ll see a street scene where there’s 90 percent Native American indigenous people, and 1 or 2 percent Caucasians.”
Dune has been nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture and Roth, Denis Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts have been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, as Frank Herbert’s book series has famously always been considered extremely difficult to adapt.