Killers of the Flower Moon
Directed byMartin Scorsese
Screenplay by
Based onKillers of the Flower Moon
by David Grann
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyRodrigo Prieto
Edited byThelma Schoonmaker
Music byRobbie Robertson
Production
companies
Distributed byApple TV+
Paramount Pictures
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$200 million[2]

Killers of the Flower Moon is an upcoming American Western crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and with a screenplay by Eric Roth and Scorsese, based on the best-selling 2017 non-fiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, which is based on the series of 1920s Oklahoma murders in the Osage Nation committed after oil was discovered on tribal land.[3] Leonardo DiCaprio, who also serves as producer, stars alongside Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, and Brendan Fraser. The film marks the sixth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio as well as the tenth collaboration between Scorsese and De Niro.[4]

The film is produced by Scorsese's Sikelia Productions and DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions and distributed by Paramount Pictures and Apple TV+. The $200 million budget is reportedly the largest amount ever spent on a movie filmed in Oklahoma.[5]

Premise

Members of the Osage tribe in northeastern Oklahoma are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major FBI investigation directed by a 29-year-old J. Edgar Hoover and former Texas Ranger Tom White, described by Grann as "an old-style lawman."[6]

Cast

Production

Development

Director and co-producer Martin Scorsese (left) and lead actor and co-producer Leonardo DiCaprio.

On March 10, 2016, Imperative Entertainment won the bidding war to make a film adaptation of David Grann's nonfiction book Killers of the Flower Moon and paid $5 million; the studio's Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas would produce the film.[7] In April 2017, it was revealed that Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro were considering involvement in the film, adapted by Eric Roth.[8] In July 2017, production designer Dante Ferretti revealed that filming would begin in early 2018, with Scorsese directing and DiCaprio starring.[9] However, production stalled until October 2018, when it was announced that the film would be Scorsese's next effort after completing The Irishman (2019). At that point, filming was due to begin in the summer of 2019.[10]

Pre-production

In June 2019, it was announced that Paramount Pictures would distribute the film.[11] On July 26, 2019, Scorsese traveled to the Osage Nation in Pawhuska, Oklahoma to meet with Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear to discuss how the Osage Nation could be involved with the film's production.[12] Days later, it was reported that De Niro had joined the cast with filming tentatively set to commence in the summer of 2020.[13]

In December 2019, Scorsese's cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto confirmed that the film was expected to start principal photography in March 2020, adding that the "look and feel of the film" was still being figured out.[14] At the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020, DiCaprio officially announced that he and De Niro will star in the film.[15] In April 2020, it was announced that the filming of Killers of the Flower Moon had been postponed indefinitely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[16] Meanwhile, Scorsese had reached out to Netflix and Apple TV+ to finance and distribute the film, as Paramount had concerns about the film's budget reaching $200 million. Paramount was still open to a deal to be involved with the film alongside an additional partner.[17] In May 2020, Apple TV+ was announced to co-finance and co-distribute the film, with Paramount remaining as distributor.[18]

In February 2021, Lily Gladstone and Jesse Plemons were added to the cast.[19][20] Though the role of Tom White, the lead FBI agent, was initially written for DiCaprio, DiCaprio pushed to instead portray the nephew of the film's primary antagonist played by De Niro.[21] As a result, it was reported that Jesse Plemons was cast as Tom White to replace DiCaprio, while DiCaprio was cast as Ernest Burkhart.[21] In March, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins and Jillian Dion were added to the cast.[22] William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Tatanka Means, Michael Abbott Jr., Pat Healy, and Scott Shepherd joined in April.[23][24]

In April 2021, Jack Fisk signed on as production designer for the film, marking the first collaboration between the Oscar nominee and Martin Scorsese.[25] In June, Steve Eastin, Gary Basaraba and Barry Corbin joined the cast.[26][27][28] In August 2021, it was announced that Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow had been added to the cast.[29][30]

Filming

Killers of the Flower Moon was expected to begin production in February 2021 in Oklahoma.[2] Principal photography ultimately began on April 19, 2021, with filming taking place in Osage County and Washington County, namely Pawhuska, Fairfax and Bartlesville.[31][32][33]

In a news release before the beginning of filming, Scorsese said: "We are thrilled to finally start production on Killers of the Flower Moon in Oklahoma. 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."[34]

On May 13, De Niro suffered a quadriceps muscle leg injury off-set and returned to New York City for medical attention; production was not delayed, as De Niro's subsequent scenes would be filmed in June 2021.[35] Filming wrapped on October 1, 2021.[36] On March 25, 2022, Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear told the Tulsa Press Club "he was advised Killers of the Flower Moon is tentatively slated to film additional scenes of a traditional community dance in mid-May in Osage County."[37]

Gladstone claimed in January 2023 that the input of the Osage Nation greatly changed the film from what Scorsese had originally envisioned and that their collaboration had positively impacted the film, stating in an interview at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival that "The work is better when you let the world inform your work".[38]

Music

Frequent Scorsese collaborator Robbie Robertson of The Band composed the score.[2]

Release

The film had been originally slated for 2022. Though in July 2022, it was stated that the film wasn’t ready, and was delayed to 2023.

As of now, Killers of the Flower Moon is expected to make its premiere at a film festival in 2023.[39]

The film is distributed digitally by Apple Studios in co-distribution with Paramount Pictures.

References

  1. ^ "Killers of the Flower Moon". Writers Guild of America West. April 21, 2022. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Sharf, Zack (August 7, 2020). "Osage Nation Prepares for Scorsese's $200 Million 'Flower Moon' to Film in February 2021". IndieWire. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Thompson, Anne (February 21, 2022). "Oscar-Nominated Dune Screenwriter Eric Roth Tells Us He Didn't Love the Book, but That Was a Superpower". IndieWire. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  4. ^ Altman, Kate (February 1, 2022). "Every Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese Movie Collaboration, Ranked". Movieweb. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  5. ^ "Cinematic attraction: 'Killers of the Flower Moon' filming brings tourists to Osage County". The Oklahoman. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  6. ^ Strong, W.F. (March 20, 2019). "The Mystery Of The Osage Murders". The Texas Standard. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 10, 2016). "Imperative Entertainment Wins 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' Auction With Bombshell $5M Bid". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 26, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  8. ^ Busch, Anita (April 21, 2017). "Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio & Robert De Niro Eyeing 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' From Eric Roth Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 17, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  9. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (July 14, 2017). "Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese Teaming Up Again for New Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on March 17, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 24, 2018). "Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese to Reteam on 'Killers of the Flower Moon'". Variety. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  11. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (June 19, 2019). "Paramount Acquires Imperative's Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio Adaptation 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' – CineEurope". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 28, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  12. ^ Pulver, Andrew (July 31, 2019). "Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese team up again on 'Osage murders' film". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (July 30, 2019). "Robert De Niro Negotiating To Re-Team With Martin Scorsese & Leonardo DiCaprio In 'Killers Of The Flower Moon'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 30, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  14. ^ Sharf, Zack (December 2, 2019). "Scorsese, DiCaprio's 'Flower Moon' Eyes March 2020 Start, Tone Still Being Worked Out". IndieWire. Archived from the original on December 27, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  15. ^ Aquilina, Tyler (January 19, 2020). "Leonardo DiCaprio confirms he and Robert De Niro will star in Martin Scorsese's next movie". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 20, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Sharf, Zack (April 16, 2020). "Postponement of Killers of the Flower Moon leads to a chance to be in the movie". KRMG. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Watson, R.T.; Flint, Joe (April 9, 2020). "Martin Scorsese Courts Apple and Netflix to Rescue Costly DiCaprio Film". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on April 10, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  18. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 27, 2020). "Apple To Team With Paramount On Scorsese-DiCaprio-De Niro Drama 'Killers Of The Flower Moon'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 28, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 11, 2021). "Apple & Martin Scorsese's 'Killers Of The Moon' Sets Lily Gladstone To Star Opposite Leonardo DiCaprio". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 17, 2021). "Jesse Plemons Joins Leondardo DiCaprio in Apple's 'Killers Of The Flower Moon'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Sharf, Zack (February 18, 2021). "Jesse Plemons Takes Over DiCaprio's Original Role in Scorsese's 'Flower Moon' After Script Changes". IndieWire. Archived from the original on February 28, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  22. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 11, 2021). "'Killers Of The Flower Moon' Sets Tantoo Cardinal And Indigenous Actresses To Join Cast Of Martin Scorsese Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 6, 2011). "Martin Scorsese's 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' Adds Four". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 6, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  24. ^ Hipes, Patrick (April 13, 2021). "'Killers Of The Flower Moon' Adds Four More To Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 13, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  25. ^ Sharf, Zack (April 7, 2021). "Scorsese's 'Flower Moon' Recruits Jack Fisk, Production Designer for Lynch, Malick, and PTA". IndieWire. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 16, 2021). "Annet Mahendru Joins 'Stu'; Eric Ladin In 'Where The Crawdads Sing'; Steve Eastin Boards 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' & More – Film Briefs". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  27. ^ Petski, Denise (June 17, 2021). "Gary Basaraba Joins Apple's 'Killers Of The Flower Moon', ABC's 'Women Of The Movement'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  28. ^ Smith, Robert (June 9, 2021). "Ben Johnson Days to bring events aplenty to Pawhuska". Pawhuska Journal-Capital. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  29. ^ Grobar, Matt (August 3, 2021). "Brendan Fraser Boards Martin Scorsese's 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' & Legendary Comedy 'Brothers'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  30. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 10, 2021). "John Lithgow Joins Martin Scorsese Apple Original Film 'Killers Of The Flower Moon'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  31. ^ Sharf, Zack (April 19, 2021). "Martin Scorsese Starts 'Flower Moon' Filming: 'Accurate Depiction' of Osage Nation Is Critical". IndieWire. Archived from the original on April 19, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  32. ^ Evangelista, Chris (January 14, 2021). "Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Production Gears Up For Seven-Month Shoot". /Film. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  33. ^ McDonnell, Brandy (March 18, 2021). "'Killers of the Flower Moon' seeks local crew, Olivia Munn speaks out and more". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  34. ^ "First Look at Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon Arrives". MovieWeb. May 10, 2021.
  35. ^ Haring, Bruce; D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 13, 2021). "Robert De Niro Injury Won't Impact 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' Production – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  36. ^ "Some 'Killers of the Flower Moon' cast wrap filming". KOKI-TV. September 17, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  37. ^ Krehbiel-Burton, Lenzy (March 29, 2022). "Some 'Flower Moon' film crews coning back to Osage County, chief says". Tulsa World. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  38. ^ Sharf, Zach (January 20, 2023). "'Killers of the Flower Moon' Is Far Different From Scorsese's Original Plan — Thanks to the Osage Nation, Says Lily Gladstone". Variety. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  39. ^ Davis, Clayton (July 26, 2022). "Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' to Release in 2023". Variety. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
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