Jesse Plemons cast in Oklahoma movie 'Killers of the Flower Moon'
"The Irishman" actor Jesse Plemons is reteaming with Martin Scorsese for the iconic filmmaker's long-awaited big-budget adaptation of "Killers of the Flower Moon," which is set to start filming soon in Oklahoma.
Set to reunite Scorsese with Oscar-winning icons Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, the highly anticipated film recently added Native American actress Lily Gladstone, with Plemons' casting announced today.
Filming on the fact-based movie - which was delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic - will commence in spring in the Tulsa, Bartlesville and Osage County areas.
"Killers of the Flower Moon" is based on the acclaimed true-crime 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 in 1920s Oklahoma, after the oil boom made them rich. The brutal killings became known as the "Reign of Terror" and the center of a major FBI investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Plemons, a Primetime Emmy Award nominee for "Fargo" and "Black Mirror," will star in the lead role that was originally to have been played by DiCaprio before the Oscar winner shifted to secondary lead.
Fresh off playing an FBI agent in another fact-based movie, the Oscar buzzy "Judas and the Black Messiah," Plemons will play Tom White, the lead FBI agent investigating the murders in "Killers of the Flower Moon."
As previously reported, Gladstone, who is Blackfeet and Nez Perce, will play the role of Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman married to Ernest Burkhart, who is nephew of a powerful local rancher. DiCaprio will play Burkhart and De Niro will portray his uncle, the iron-fisted rancher, in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Plemons opted to take the part in "Killers of the Flower Moon" even after Oscar winner Jordan Peele ("Get Out") offered him the male lead in his latest thriller.
Plemons hoped to do both, according to the trade publication, but the scheduling ultimately couldn't work. "Killers of the Flower Moon" is set to lens in Oklahoma from May to late summer, while Peele’s new movie is to film in early summer.
Plemons, who started out as a child actor, gave memorable performances on the TV shows "Friday Night Lights" and "Breaking Bad" and recently co-starred in Steven Spielberg’s fact-based film "The Post," the comedic hit "Game Night" and the Sundance Film Festival premiere "Judas and the Black Messiah." He co-stars opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt in Disney's upcoming "Jungle Cruise."
Scorsese ("Raging Bull," "The Wolf of Wall Street") is producing and directing "Killers of the Flower Moon” for Apple Studios and Imperative Entertainment. Also producing are Imperative’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, along with DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions.
Along with the pandemic delays, 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.
"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."
Features Writer Brandy "BAM" McDonnell covers Oklahoma's arts, entertainment and cultural sectors for The Oklahoman and Oklahoman.com. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/brandybammcdonnell and twitter.com/BAMOK. Please support work by her and her colleagues by subscribing at oklahoman.com/subscribe.