Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson have joined the growing cast of Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon, Osage News reports. No release date has been announced for the Apple Original Film, an adaptation of David Grann’s nonfiction book about a string of murders in Oklahoma’s Osage Nation.
Set in the 1920s, the story looks into the brutal killings of several Osage natives who amassed considerable wealth after oil was discovered on their land. White residents of the area were allowed to become custodians of the Osage people’s money, denying them the full extent of their profits. Osage people with claims to the wealth began to die and an early incarnation of the FBI got involved, untangling a large, multi-person conspiracy to steal the profits. This period of violence became known as the Reign of Terror.
Isbell will play Bill Smith, the white husband of an Osage woman who is killed, while Simpson will play rodeo champion and bootlegger Henry Grammer. They join previously announced cast members including Leonardo DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart, Robert De Niro as William Hale, and Jesse Plemons as Tom White. Actors with Native American and indigenous heritage have been cast to play Osage people, including Lily Gladstone (as Mollie Burkhart), William Belleau, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, and Jillian Dion.
While both Isbell and Simpson are more widely recognized for their songwriting and musical efforts, they’ve also done some onscreen work. Isbell took on a small role in the 2019 Deadwood movie and voiced a character on Squidbillies (not to mention writing a song for the blockbuster A Star Is Born), while Simpson has starred in the films Queen and Slim and The Dead Don’t Die, along with the CBS streaming series One Dollar.