Story at a glance

  • ”Killers of the Flower Moon” is based on a 2017 nonfiction book.
  • The film and book surround the 1920s serial killings of Osage Nation citizens who stood to profit from the oil boom.
  • Scorsese has stated production is working with tribal consultants to ensure an accurate and respectful representation.

Principal photography has begun for the film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” the Oklahoma Film + Music Office and Apple Original Films announced on Monday.

To be directed and produced by Martin Scorsese, the Oscar-winning director behind movies such as “The Irishman” and “Taxi Driver,” the movie will feature a cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal and others.

“We are thrilled to finally start production on ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ in Oklahoma,” Scorsese said in a statement. “To be able to tell this story on the land where these events took place is incredibly important and critical to allowing us to portray an accurate depiction of the time and people. We’re grateful to Apple, the Oklahoma Film and Music Office and The Osage Nation, especially all our Osage consultants and cultural advisors, as we prepare for this shoot. We’re excited to start working with our local cast and crew to bring this story to life on screen and immortalize a time in American history that should not be forgotten.”


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The film is based on the bestselling 2017 nonfiction book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by journalist David Grann. 

Set in Oklahoma in the 1920s, the book chronicles the serial murders of Osage Nation citizens, who stood to profit from oil deposits on their lands, and various other crimes that were later deemed the “Reign of Terror” and the early FBI investigation into unraveling the entire conspiracy.

To best approach the sensitive subject matter and properly depict the Osage Nation and the egregious crimes its people were subjected to, Scorsese has acknowledged with gratitude that tribal leaders and cultural consultants have worked with him and his production team to scout sites in Oklahoma and ensure that depictions are respectful, honest and accurate. The movie also includes Indigenous actors.

“In recent meetings with Oklahoma Senators and House of Representative members, I made the point of how much their support for the movie industry has made a difference,” Chief Geoffrey M. Standing Bear of the Osage Nation said in a statement“The funding from the State of Oklahoma along with the efforts of the Osage Nation have proven to be a big draw for this film in particular.”

The production for “Killers of the Flower Moon” will continue through the summer, and the film is projected to generate a $24 million economic impact locally.


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Published on Apr 21, 2021