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'Killers of the Flower Moon' will film in Oklahoma in 2021, tribal officials report

'Killers of the Flower Moon' will film in Oklahoma in 2021, tribal officials report

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'Killers of the Flower Moon' will be filmed in Osage County

Martin Scorsese (right, talking with Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear) is directing and Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio are attached to star in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Courtesy/Cody Hammer/Osage News

“Killers of the Flower Moon,” a star-studded film adaptation of the bestselling book based in Oklahoma, will begin filming in the Pawhuska area in 2021, according to a published report by the official news outlet of the Osage Nation.

That would be nearly a year after filming was scheduled to begin — before being delayed by the pandemic — but the plan is still to film where the events of the book’s true story took place, according to an Osage News report.

Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, leader of the Osage tribe, reportedly mentioned an update on the filming status during “a report to the 7th Osage Nation Congress on (Wednesday),” the Osage News said.

“My latest information is that they would start filming, subject to Coronavirus, February 2021,” Standing Bear said of the “Flower Moon” production crew.

“And they will be here for about 16 weeks. They’re going to start moving in here quietly, I’m not helping that very much, but quietly around November and December. So, they’re coming.”

Apple won a bidding war to partner with Paramount Pictures in producing the Martin Scorsese-directed “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a story of oil, greed and murder set in the Osage Nation of the 1920s.

Academy Award winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro have been announced as playing key roles in the film.

The Osage News also spoke with Chad Renfro, who has acted as an ambassador for the tribe in interacting with Scorsese’s production team.

“They are excited about the partnership with Apple and that they will be and are very much looking forward to filming here. The industry and production is basically at a standstill due to COVID-19 and timing is the biggest unknown,” Renfro said in an email, the Osage News reported.

“With safety for all being of greatest concern, once the industry protocol has been established and it is safe to embark on this important project, they will reach back out to us.”

The best-selling book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” was released in April 2017, detailing what was known in Oklahoma as the “Osage Reign of Terror.”

Author David Grann researched and wrote about Osage tribal members who, in the 1920s, “became the richest people in the world after oil was discovered under their reservation. Then they began to be mysteriously murdered off — poisoned, shot, bombed — in one of the most sinister crimes in American history.”

“Flower Moon” will now be an Apple original film that will be distributed into theaters by Paramount. The deal reportedly was done after the budget had grown to as much as $200 million.

That process has continued during the pandemic — which delayed a film shoot set for late spring to summer that Pawhuska had been preparing for — and now the financing for the big-budget movie would appear to be in place with the film still being shot in Oklahoma.

Scorsese has visited with Osage Nation tribal leaders, and his filmmaking team of many years has made multiple trips to the state to research the film with plans to keep the tribe involved as a consultant in the creative process.

The movie’s production team has worked with Osage Nation tribal officials to include the work of Osage artisans, the casting of Native Americans in some roles and residents of Osage County with skills ranging from construction workers to food workers who have an interest in working on the movie.


What we know so far about the ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ movie set in Oklahoma

Michael Smith

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Scene Writer

I write movie reviews and features, interviews Oklahoma performers and covers entertainment events for the Scene and Weekend sections of the Tulsa World. Phone: 918-581-8479

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