Martin Scorsese may be on the path towards winning a number of Oscars for his just-released epic The Irishman, but the filmmaker is already readying his next project. Back in 2017, word first surfaced that Scorsese was eyeing an adaptation of David Grann’s non-fiction book Killers of the Flower Moon as not only a new project, but a reteam with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. The project has been firming up ever since that time, with Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Curious Case of Benjamin Button) writing the script, and now we know when the Killers of the Flower Moon movie starts filming.
I recently had the chance to speak with Scorsese’s frequent cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto about his stunning work on The Irishman, and during our phone conversation in mid-November, Prieto was actually in Bartlesville, Oklahoma (where Terrence Malick shot To the Wonder) doing some preliminary camera tests and scouts for Killers of the Flower Moon. He revealed that right now, filming on the project is expected to begin in March 2020. Obviously things can change, and in the world of moviemaking anything can happen, but that appears to be the targeted start of production for Scorsese’s next movie. It could also explain why DiCaprio backed out of Nightmare Alley starring in Guillermo del Toro‘s , which starts shooting at the same time.
Killers of the Flower Moon tells the true story of the mysterious murders of the Osage Indians tribe in Oklahoma, where oil sat beneath their land. The case was one of the first ever to be taken on by the FBI, who fought against corruption to solve the grisly mystery.
Paramount Pictures came aboard to finance and distribute Killers of the Flower Moon in June 2019, and while no official casting has been confirmed, both DiCaprio and De Niro are expected to star.
I asked Prieto if he and Scorsese had hit upon an aesthetic theme or tone for the new project, but he said it’s still early days:
“Right now I’m in the process of researching different ways of shooting it so we still have to actually meet, and I’ll show him images, propose ideas. He’ll probably have his thoughts too, but we still haven’t figured [out the tone of the film]. So, on the way.”
Prieto and Scorsese first collaborated on The Wolf of Wall Street and Prieto subsequently shot Scorsese’s Vinyl pilot as well as Silence and now The Irishman, so I can’t wait to see how the two tackle the vast exteriors of the Oklahoma plains in Killers of the Flower Moon.