Pawhuska City Manager Dave Neely and Chamber of Commerce executive Joni Nash last week told city councilors that filming of the movie to be based on David Grann’s bestselling book “Killers of the Flower Moon” has been pushed back several weeks, to early May.
“Hollywood wanted to make some changes in the script,” Neely told the Pawhuska City Council.
Chamber executive Joni Nash shared the same message. Nash said the Chamber had received word that the filming would be delayed — “the reason being that the script wasn’t ready.” She said that she understood the commitment to conduct filming activities in Pawhuska was not in any danger.
She also clarified that she had not received any personal, direct communication from a movie actor.
“Leonardo (DiCaprio) did not call me and say, ‘Would you please share that?’” Nash said with a chuckle.
Neely was optimistic in his estimation for the council of the likely impact of the movie project on the local tourist economy
“I think we’re going to have people coming just to see the movie stars,” he said, anticipating that the usual wave of visitors interested in The Pioneer Woman Mercantile will be augmented by people interested in the movie.
Neely said in a telephone conversation last Friday that front people for the movie operation have contacted Pawhuska business owners to let them know about the schedule change, and the movie makers continue to hire people.
Neely said he received a contact to ensure that an account had been set up and billing would proceed in regard to the use of an old carpet mill building. Anytime there’s a change, someone calls, he said.
“They’re first-class folks,” Neely said. “They’re keeping us up-to-date on things.”
The delay just gives the city a little more elbow room as it gets ready to carry out a water line project on Kihekah Avenue, he said, adding that it also means the movie crews should be in Pawhuska a little later into 2020.