Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' is finally set to film in Oklahoma soon - and here's how to be a part of it

Brandy McDonnell
Martin Scorsese is seen location scouting in Oklahoma for his upcoming film, "Killers of the Flower Moon." [Photo provided by producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff]

Another virtual call for extras has been issued for iconic filmmaker Martin Scorsese's long-awaited big-budget adaptation of "Killers of the Flower Moon," which is finally set to start filming soon in Oklahoma.

Background Oklahoma, a division of Oklahoma-based Freihofer Casting, is still accepting submissions for the virtual call for extras.

According to today's casting notice, filming on the eagerly awaited movie - which was delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic - will occur from spring to late summer in the Tulsa, Bartlesville and Osage County areas.

Set to reunite Scorsese with Oscar-winning icons Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, the production is seeking people ages 18 and older of all ethnicities to be extras in the fact-based film, which is set in 1920s Oklahoma.

People who attended one of the project's open casting calls last year do not need to re-apply, according to today's notice. To get information or apply, click here.

"Killers of the Flower Moon" is based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by David Grann, the best-selling author of "The Lost City of Z" and "The White Darkness." “Killers of the Flower Moon” chronicles the mysterious murders of Osage Nation citizens, who in 1920s Oklahoma became the center of a major FBI investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.

"I think it's so great that they're going to be filming here, that they've had auditions for the Osage and for other Native American actors to be a part of it," Grann told me in a 2020 interview in Oklahoma City.

"When I wrote the book, part of it was to hopefully make sure that this history is part of our consciousness. Because for so many people - and I include myself - we had essentially excised this very important history."

Although filming on the project has been delayed due to the pandemic, the Academy Award winner has reportedly remained committed to making the movie in Oklahoma. While sheltering in place in New York City in June, Scorsese recorded an opening-night video message for OKC's virtual deadCenter Film Festival, telling the event's online audience, "I would love to be there with you. ... I hope that when we get to shoot 'Killers of the Flower Moon' soon in Oklahoma, I might be able to be there at some point."

The project also worked through some budgetary wrangling last year, with Paramount recruiting Apple to assist in making the movie, which reportedly has a budget around $200 million. According to Variety, Paramount still will distribute the film worldwide, with Apple joining to finance the project, act as the movie's creative studio and then stream the prestigious title on its Apple TV+ service.

According to Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, the Bartlesville Development Authority in November approved an agreement with Apple to rent 55,000 square feet of space in the former Siemens building for the production of a movie filming in Osage County.

Although both DiCaprio and De Niro are frequent collaborators of Scorsese, "Killers of the Flower Moon" will mark the first of his feature films that will star the iconic actors together. They both appeared in Scorsese’s 2015 short film "The Audition," in which they portrayed fictionalized versions of themselves.

"Killers of the Flower Moon" will mark the sixth film DiCaprio and Scorsese have worked on together, with their previous collaborations including "The Departed," "Gangs of New York" and, most recently, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

It will be the 10th feature over the past four decades the director has made with De Niro, who won a best actor Oscar for his work with Scorsese on "Raging Bull" and an Oscar nomination for their collaboration on "Taxi Driver."

Although "Killers of the Flower Moon" is the biggest and starriest production coming to the Sooner State, Oklahoma's film industry has shown marked growth over the past few years, attracting many movie and TV projects despite the pandemic and seeing the development of Prairie Surf Studio (formerly the Cox Convention Center) and Green Pastures Studio (formerly Green Pastures Elementary School).

The Scorsese film could employ thousands of local crew and background talent, and the production is expected to contract with local businesses and spend millions of dollars on local labor, lodging, transportation, hardware, food and other in-state products.

“Landing this production in our great state reaches a huge milestone for our growing film industry and can be credited to tactical strategy by state officials to court higher impact productions that provide new opportunities for short and long term economic impacts in the state,” said Oklahoma Film + Music Director Tava Maloy Sofsky in a 2020 statement provided to The Oklahoman. “The opportunities this film will provide for continuing the development of our local workforce and infrastructure are tremendous as we continue attracting independent film and television productions around the state.”

Features Writer Brandy "BAM" McDonnell covers Oklahoma's arts, entertainment and cultural sectors for The Oklahoman and Oklahoman.com. Reach her at bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com, www.facebook.com/brandybammcdonnell and twitter.com/BAMOK. Please support work by her and her colleagues by subscribing at oklahoman.com/subscribe 

-BAM