The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) and Apple Original Films announced today that principal photography on Killers of the Flower Moon is set to commence in Oklahoma on April 19. Hailing from Apple Studios, the film is directed and produced by Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese. Killers of the Flower Moon joins Apple Original Films' award-winning feature film slate, with its critically acclaimed films Wolfwalkers and Greyhound recently honored with Academy Award nominations.
Based on David Grann's broadly lauded best-selling novel, the story is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror.
"We are thrilled to finally start production on Killers of the Flower Moon in Oklahoma," said Scorsese. "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."
Killers of the Flower Moon features a prestigious cast that includes Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio, Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, Emmy Award nominee Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Tatanka Means, Michael Abbott Jr., Pat Healy, Scott Shepherd and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriters Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson.
The screenplay is adapted by Academy Award winner and Emmy Award nominee Eric Roth (A Star is Born, Forrest Gump) and Scorsese. Producing alongside Scorsese is Imperative Entertainment's Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Appian Way Productions.
With the support of state leadership, including Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office has worked to ensure Killers of the Flower Moon could film in historically accurate Oklahoma locations, since the screen adaptation rights were first secured.
The Osage Nation has also played an indispensable role in the planning of "Killers of the Flower Moon" and in helping to scout numerous sites across the state. Chief Geoffrey M. Standing Bear named Chad Renfro Ambassador to the production, and these tribal leaders introduced the filmmakers to cultural advisors, historians, local artisans and citizens to assist in their efforts to portray the story with authenticity and honesty.
"In recent meetings with Oklahoma Senators and House of Representative Members I made the point of how much their support for the movie industry has made a difference. This is a very strong, lucrative business which directly benefits many Oklahomans, including the Sovereign Nations. It promotes financial opportunities and cultural recognition for all," said Chief of the Osage Nation Geoffrey Standing Bear. "The funding from the State of Oklahoma along with the efforts of the Osage Nation have proven to be a big draw for this film in particular. We are now seeing the fruits of all of our efforts to bring this great movie production here and now!"
"Hosting Oklahoma's largest motion picture in state history is about to begin and it means a lot to the state of Oklahoma to bring this film to its historical origin, which is already impacting rural communities and small businesses in huge ways," said Oklahoma Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell. "Studio executives keep emphasizing the importance of the 'three-legged stool' that we need a strong crew base, local infrastructure and production incentives. I am confident Oklahoma is on it's way to strengthening the stool and is poised to show Apple Studios, Imperative, Appian Way and the esteemed cast and crew professionals, our state's natural beauty, our pioneering innovation and the resilience of our people here in Oklahoma."
The Oklahoma Film + Music Office has also partnered with Apple Studios to help fill hundreds of production jobs for the project, and curate a crew development program with a mission to provide basic, industry standard training and on-the-job experience to further expand the local workforce in Oklahoma's film industry. To date, dozens of production assistants have been hired to join this program, participating in mentor sessions with "Killers of the Flower Moon" crew. This event marks one aspect of the four-part series which will kickstart the participants' professional development while working on this unique project.
"Oklahoma's film industry is flourishing and while we are pleased this production is already employing hundreds of Oklahomans, with thousands of background extras lined up, we are just getting started and are ecstatic about the workforce development opportunities to train up the next generation of filmmakers," said Tava Maloy Sofsky, Director [Film Commissioner] of the Oklahoma Film + Music Office. "Honestly, while it's everyday work for everyone involved, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to host everyone on this special production and its entire cast and crew, which will positively impact our state in unprecedented ways."
While in Oklahoma, the production will also spend millions with local businesses through hotel room bookings, construction materials, equipment rentals, catering, and much more.
Killers of the Flower Moon joins a burgeoning slate of Apple Originals produced by Apple Studios, including The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, a new six-episode limited series starring and executive produced by Academy Award-nominee Samuel L. Jackson, and based on the moving novel by best-selling author Walter Mosley; Spirited, starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell to be directed by Sean Anders; Emancipation, from director Antoine Fuqua and starring and produced by Academy Award-nominee Will Smith; Masters of the Air, a new limited drama series from Apple Studios and executive produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, and Tom Hanks & Gary Goetzman's Playtone; a new drama series from Team Downey and Adam Perlman; High Desert, a new comedy series that will star Patricia Arquette, who will also executive produce alongside director Ben Stiller; and "Lessons in Chemistry" starring and executive produced by Academy Award-winner Brie Larson, and written and executive produced by Academy Award-nominee Susannah Grant.