Killers of the Flower Moon is true to history according to author David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon
Killers of the Flower Moon /

Killers of the Flower Moon is ready to be a huge drama when it premieres. But is this gripping tale really based on a true story?

Martin Scorsese’s new drama is set in the 1920s after oil is discovered on the land of the Osage Native American tribe in Oklahoma. Obviously, oil magnates want this but are held back by the land belonging to the Osage. William King Hale (Robert DeNiro) is a powerful land boss who conceives a plan to get his nephew, Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio), to marry Molly (Lily Gladstone) to try and sway her to give the oil rights to Hale.

Hale then takes it a step further by killing several Osage members as part of a land grab. That brings in Tom White (Jesse Plemons), a detective for the BOI (the precursor to the FBI), to investigate and uncover this shocking conspiracy.

The movie appears to be a gripping crime story, but how true to life is it?

The Killers of the Flower Moon movie sticks close to history

As it happens, the movie is very true to real events. It adapts the 2017 book of the same name by David Grann. The book was hailed for its in-depth research telling the story, often listed as one of the best non-fiction books of the year. Hale, White, Molly, and scores of other figures from the movie were all real people, with Hale convicted of murder and spending two decades in prison.

The screenplay is by Scorsese and Eric Roth, with Grann telling Variety that he visited the set and was impressed by how the filmmakers fought to ensure the movie was as true to history as possible.

"“I did visit the set for a few days. And I was, again, just really impressed by how they managed to bring these historical figures to life and capture the hidden truths about the story…What I was struck by from Scorsese to the actors was the level of commitment and how much research they did to understand the parts and understand the history.”"

Thus, it appears that Killers of the Flower Moon will be excellent at telling this shocking true story and is primed to be one of the biggest movies of the year.

dark. Next. Killers of the Flower Moon filming locations

Killers of the Flower Moon premieres Friday, Oct. 20 in theaters.