This spring, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio met with Osage cultural leaders, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and the Osage Nation’s film ambassador, Chad Renfro, in Oklahoma to discuss their plans to collaborate on a movie titled “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
The movie is based on true events about a 1920s Western murder drama that tracks the newly-formed FBI’s investigation into the deaths of several Osage members. The Osage nation was targeted by industrialists after oil was discovered on their land, according to IndieWire.
It also corresponds directly with the book by David Grann, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.”
The film is being shot in Pawhuska, Oklahoma—part of Osage County, where actual events took place a century ago. This is a big deal for the small town—residents and visitors have been excited to see Pawhuska transformed into the setting for the film, along with the occasional celebrity sighting.
Who stars in the film?
Substantial names headline “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Look forward to seeing the following actors on the big screen:
- Leonardo DiCaprio: plays Ernest Burkhart, a suspect in the Osage killings
- Robert De Niro: plays the rancher
- Lily Gladstone: (has tribal affiliations that include Kainai, Amskapi Piikani, and Nimi’ipuu First Nations) plays DiCaprio’s wife, Mollie Kyle.
- Jesse Plemons: plays Tom White, the FBI investigator on the case
What an amazing cast—many cannot wait to watch them present what actually happened during the tragedy of the Osage Indian Murders.
Will the film do the Osage culture justice?
DiCaprio and Scorsese are doing their part to ensure “Killers of the Flower Moon” is representative of the Osage culture and the truth of what happened there at that time. They spoke not only with important cultural advisors and Osage leaders but with community members as well. DiCaprio and Scorsese encouraged the community to be honest and share their concerns with them, along with any stories they may have that can improve the film.
“Scorsese also spoke of his plan to include details of Osage culture to paint a full, truthful picture of the time and the people,” Osage News reports. “Scorsese and his team are currently working with advisors from the community, and plan to engage with more as the preparation work gets seriously underway.”
The film was originally set to go into production last year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things were put on hold.
The goal is for the release date to be in December of 2021—keep this on your radar!
Watch a quick YouTube clip about the filming of the movie in Tulsa, as Jimmie Tramel of the Tulsa World reports an update.
What is your favorite Native movie?
Check out our list of Native American movies streaming now.