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Scorsese, DiCaprio’s ‘Flower Moon’ Eyes March 2020 Start, Tone Still Being Worked Out

Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto has been performing camera tests in Oklahoma ahead of the movie's production start date.

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Rumor had it that Martin Scorsese would be filming his next feature film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” in spring and summer 2020. In a new interview with Collider, Scorsese’s recurring cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto not only verifies the rumor but also confirms that “Flower Moon” is gearing up to start principal photography in March 2020. Prieto, currently a major Oscar contender for his work on Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” has recently been in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, performing camera tests for “Flower Moon.” The cinematographer said the look and feel of the film is still being figured out.

“Right now I’m in the process of researching different ways of shooting it,” Prieto said about “Killers of the Flower Moon.” “So [Scorsese and I] still have to actually meet, and I’ll show him images, propose ideas. He’ll probably have his thoughts too, but we still haven’t figured [out the tone of the film]. So, on the way.”

Scorsese was spotted over the summer in Osage County, Oklahoma, scouting locations for “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Cinephiles might be familiar with Bartlesville, Oklahoma (where Prieto was performing screen tests) because it served as the filming location for Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder.” The 1920s-set “Flower Moon” is based on David Grann’s historical book and centers around the Osage Nation murders, in which members of the Native American tribe were killed after discovering oil on their reservation and striking it rich. The murders attracted the attention of the newly-created FBI.

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Paramount Pictures boarded the project in June, bringing Scorsese back to a major Hollywood studio following his work on “The Irishman” with Netflix. Robert De Niro is also set to star in the serial killer drama. Outside of Scorsese’s short film “The Audition,” De Niro and DiCaprio have rarely starred opposite each other in a feature film (a previous collaboration, “This Boy’s Life,” was released in 1993).

All three men are currently dominating Oscar season with “The Irishman” (directed by Scorsese, starring De Niro) and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (starring DiCaprio). Both De Niro and DiCaprio are expected to land Oscar nominations for Best Actor, while Scorsese is a favorite to compete in the Best Director race. With a spring production start set, expect “Killers of the Flower Moon” to debut sometime in 2021.

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