With COVID cases slowly ramping down as more and more people get vaccinated, the number of films and shows in production is also rising — including our cinephile champion Martin Scorsese and his latest feature Killers of the Flower Moon. The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) and Apple Original Films announced that principal photography has officially commenced today, April 19.
Financing Scorsese’s films has become one of the quickest ways for streaming services to gain notoriety and prestige as the movie industry begins to shift to a dual release platform. Netflix bagged his last feature with The Irishman, which garnered an epic 10 nominations at the 2020 Academy Awards. The budding streamer Apple TV+ eagerly snapped him up for Killers of the Flower Moon, a long-gestating adaptation of David Grann’s best-selling non-fiction book of the same name.
Starring Jesse Plemons as well as Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon is set in Oklahoma in the 1920s during a particularly brutal series of murders in the oil-wealthy Osage Nation. This string of crimes came to be known as the Reign of Terror and ignited the creation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The rest of the cast includes frequent Scorsese collaborator Robert de Niro, Lily Gladstone, Pat Healy and Scott Shepherd. Forrest Gump and A Star is Born scribe Eric Roth serves as the screenwriter, who recently let it slip that this film will be “one for the ages.”
When announcing the start 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.”
With a(nother) budget of $200 million, Killers of the Flower Moon will certainly be an undertaking. Shooting on location in The Osage Nation is very important for telling this true tale, and will require dozens of sets, costumes and extras in order to effectively transport viewers into the story. Time and time again, Scorsese has delivered, and his late-career films prove to be just as dynamic as his earlier ones.
Killers of the Flower Moon will be distributed by Paramount and stream on Apple TV+. No release date has yet been announced.