Following nearly six months of rewrites that completely changed the narrative focus of the original David Grann novel from which it is based on along with nearly a year of prep time, Martin Scorsese's highly-anticipated project Killers of the Flower Moon has officially begun production in Oklahoma.
The film made headlines last year when it was reported that the film's screenwriter, Eric Roth, was asked by lead star Leonardo DiCaprio to change the focus of the novel. Originally, DiCaprio was expected to play the part of Tom White, the lead FBI agent who came to Oklahoma in the 1920's to investigate a string of murders (Known historically as the "Reign of Terror") of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation. However, DiCaprio wanted to play a more juicy role and thus Roth rewrote the story to split focus between White (Now played by Jesse Plemons) and DiCaprio's role of Ernest Burkhart, the nephew of the film's primary antagonist William Hale (Played by Robert De Niro). Scorsese ultimately contributed to the script and will share writing credit with Roth.
Scorsese's film is being funded by Apple Original Films as part of his new agreement with the streaming service Apple+ (Of which DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions also signed a new deal with last year). The film will be shot on location in Oklahoma and production is being aided by the Osage Nation who helped scout locations that accurately would bring the story to vivid life. On that, Scorsese had this to say today:
“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.”
DiCaprio, Plemons, and De Niro are joined by Lily Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Jason Isbell, and Sturgill Simpson. Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and DiCaprio will produce. Stay tuned!