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Hollywood stars headed to Osage County in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ adaptation

Hollywood stars will once again be walking the streets of Osage County.

According to reports in an online article that ran on July 14 by Variety, legendary director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are developing a film-adaption of David Grann’s New York Times Best Seller “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.”

“Flower Moon” takes place during the 1920’s oil boom on the Osage Reservation as the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI) takes up its first case to solve the murders happening to Osage shareholders of the Osage Mineral Estate. The book follows the murders of Mollie Burkhart’s family and the outcome of the investigation. Burkhart, a full-blood Osage woman married to a white man, helplessly stands by as one after the other her two full blood sisters, their families, and her mother are all murdered for their headright shares.

William Hale, a well-known murderer to Osages everywhere and the orchestrator of the murder of Mollie’s family, is prominently featured in the book as Tom White hunts him and his murderous nephews down in a whodunnit page turner. Grann is very careful to detail the many complicit non-Indians who stood by as hundreds of Osages were murdered.

The book doesn’t stop with the solving of the case and the formation of the FBI but instead ends with Grann’s touching and poignant interviews with the grandchildren of those murdered Osage – featuring Margie Burkhart, Osage Nation Trial Court Chief Judge Marvin Stepson, Mary Jo Webb and Kathryn Red Corn.

The rights to “Flower Moon” were bought for $5 million by Imperative and Oscar-winning screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is drafting a script, according to Variety. The film is expected to begin production in September after Scorsese is finished filming The Irishman.

According to Variety, John Atwood, Imperative’s chief financial officer, is currently conducting preliminary research for the film. It is not yet known where the film will be shot. The murders detailed in the book take place in Fairfax. The trials take place in Pawhuska and Guthrie, and there is a lengthy back story of Tom White’s life in Texas.

Grann, a writer for The New Yorker and the New York Times Best Seller “The Lost City of Z” which was made into a feature film and debuted this summer, has visited Osage County numerous times for book signings and readings.

Osage County has been host to Hollywood stars before. In 2010, Terrence Malick filmed “To the Wonder” in and around Pawhuska, starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Javier Barden and Olga Kurylenko. In 2012, the George Clooney-produced “August: Osage County” was filmed in and around Pawhuska, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Chris Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Tourists are a mainstay for Pawhuska residents as people from across the United States flock to Pawhuska to visit The Mercantile, the popular restaurant, and store owned by Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman fame.


By

Shannon Shaw Duty


Original Publish Date: 2017-07-18 00:00:00

Author

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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Dutyhttps://osagenews.org

Title: Editor

Email: sshaw@osagenation-nsn.gov

Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

Languages spoken: English, Osage (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)

Shannon Shaw Duty, Osage from the Grayhorse District, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Peoples Law. She currently sits on the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served as a board member for LION Publishers, as Vice President for the Pawhuska Public Schools Board of Education, on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (now Indigenous Journalists Association) and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive NAJA's Elias Boudinot Free Press Award. The Osage News won Best Newspaper from the SPJ-Oklahoma Chapter in their division 2018-2022. Her award-winning work has been published in Indian Country Today, The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, NPR, the Associated Press, Tulsa World and others. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and together they share six children, two dogs and two cats.
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