Movies | February 27, 2021 6:30 am

In Advance of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Scorsese and DiCaprio Meet With Osage Leaders

The film is set to begin shooting in May

Director Martin Scorsese smiling
Martin Scorsese attends the premiere of "The Irishman" at TCL Chinese Theatre on October 24, 2019.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

If you’re familiar with the true story behind director Martin Scorsese’s next film, Killers of the Flower Moon, you already have a sense of the fraught history behind it. As documented in both the acclaimed David Grann book (on which the film is based) and Dennis McAuliffe’s The Deaths of Sybil Bolton: Oil, Greed, and Murder on the Osage Reservation — a book that Grann hailed as the first major work on the subject — the discovery of oil on lands owned by the Osage Nation made the Native American tribe rich. Then, in the 1920s, more and more Osage began dying under mysterious circumstances.

The full story of what happened is a sinuous, harrowing narrative full of betrayal and broken trust. It’s not difficult to see what would draw Scorsese to the project — one with a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons and Lily Gladstone. But because it’s dealing with such a horrific moment in history, it wouldn’t be difficult for things to go very wrong.

It’s reassuring to hear that both Scorsese and DiCaprio recently met with a group of Osage leaders, including Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and film ambassador Chad Renfro.

Osage News has more details on the meeting. Outside of a press release about the event, there isn’t much information available; all parties involved signed NDAs. The article notes that the filmmakers are working with Osage community advisors and plan to do so even more as the film’s production ramps up. The article also notes that Standing Bear and Renfro organized the meeting.

The film’s production was delayed by the pandemic. Filming is currently set to begin in May.

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