From ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ to ‘Reagan’: 18 Oklahoma-made movies and shows to see in 2023


play

From a veritable land rush of productions during the COVID-19 pandemic to the state legislature’s passage of a new, larger film incentive in 2021, industry watchers have been touting a growing influx of made-in-Oklahoma movies and television series for the past few years. 

But 2023 might just prove the breakthough year when savvy movie and TV fans get to appreciate the Sooner State’s emergence as a filming destination.  

From star-studded historical dramas like “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Reagan” and new seasons of popular streaming series like “Reservation Dogs” and “Tulsa King” to promising Sundance Film Festival selections and quirky homegrown comedies, many projects filmed in Oklahoma are expected to be coming soon to a movie theater, streaming service or on-demand platform near you.  

The dates for some of them are still to be announced, but here are 18 Oklahoma-made movies and TV shows to look out for in 2023:  

1. ‘Out of Exile’  

When and where to see it: Jan. 20 in select theaters and on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Vudu and more.  

Named the Best Oklahoma Feature of the 2022 deadCenter Film Festival, “Out of Exile” follows Gabriel Russell (Shawnee actor Adam Hampton), a recently paroled thief trying to stay out of trouble and rebuild a relationship with his estranged daughter (Hayley McFarland). Choctaw native (and one-time Disney Channel star) Ryan Merriman plays the FBI agent hunting Gabriel and his crew after a botched armored car robbery.  

Sooner State writer-director Kyle Kauwika Harris filmed the crime thriller in Shawnee, Yukon, Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas in fall 2020. 

Members of the primarily Oklahoman cast and crew will participate in Q&As after the 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 showing at Tulsa’s Circle Cinema and after the 6:55 p.m. Jan. 21 showing at OKC’s Harkins Bricktown 16.  

2. ‘Fancy Dance’ 

When and where to see it: Premiering Jan. 20 at Sundance, with other release plans TBA.  

Seneca-Cayuga filmmaker Erica Tremblay, who is originally from Oklahoma, and the Cherokee Nation Film Office return to Utah’s Sundance Film Fest with “Fancy Dance,” which will screen in person through Jan. 27 and be available for online viewing Jan. 24-30.  

After her sister’s disappearance, a Native American hustler (“Killers of the Flower Moon” star Lily Gladstone, who’s Blackfeet and Nez Perce) scraping by on the Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma kidnaps her niece (Isabel Deroy-Olson) from the girl’s white grandparents and sets out for a powwow in an effort to keep what is left of her family intact.  

The drama is one of the first recipients of the Cherokee Nation Film Incentive launched in early 2022. 

3. ‘Bad Press’ 

When and where to see it: Premiering Jan. 22 at Sundance, with further release plans TBA. 

Angel Ellis, a Mvskoke Media reporter based in Okmulgee, fights for truth and transparency after the Muscogee Nation starts censoring its free press in this documentary, directed by Muscogee filmmaker Rebecca Landsberry-Baker.  

“Bad Press” is screening in person through Jan. 27 at Sundance and available online until Jan. 30.  

4. ‘Little Dixie’  

When and where to see it: Feb. 3 in select theaters, on digital and on demand.  

After filming his newly released horror movie “Candy Land” in Montana, prolific Tulsa writer-director John Swab returned home to lens his upcoming crime drama in Tulsa, Catoosa, Sand Springs and Owasso.

Paramount Pictures will release “Little Dixie” following its premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam Jan. 25-Feb. 5 in the Netherlands.  

When a deal goes wrong between a corrupt governor (Eric Dane, “Euphoria”) and a ruthless drug lord, ex-special forces operative Doc (Frank Grillo, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) gets caught in the crosshairs. Doc must take down the cartel and do whatever it takes to protect the only good thing in his life: his young daughter, Little Dixie. 

5. ‘One Day as a Lion’ 

When and where to see it: TBA.  

Why release two movies in one year when you can release three? Lionsgate is expected to debut sometime in 2023 this crime drama that Swab directed last year in his home state. Scott Caan (“Ocean’s Eleven”) wrote the script and plays the lead role of Jackie Powers, a beleaguered gangster determined to prevent his son from following him into a life of crime. 

The star-studded cast also includes Grillo, Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen.  

6. ‘The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret’ 

When and where to see it: Feb. 28 on digital, on demand and on DVD. 

Local filmmakers Ryan Bellgardt and Chris Hoyt return with another family-friendy sci-fi jaunt, the sequel to Bellgardt’s 2019 fantasy.

7. ‘What Rhymes with Reason’ 

When and where to see it: TBA.  

While helming his second feature, OKC filmmaker Kyle William Roberts (“The Posthuman Project”) took his cast and crew all over his home state, from Turner Falls and Red Rock Canyon to Jones High School and Green Pastures Studio near Spencer.   

The “faith-adjacent” teen adventure follows Jesse Brandt (Gattlin Griffith, “The Boys”), a high-school senior who tumbles into the darkness of depression after a tragedy. In an attempt to find meaning and direction, Jesse and his friends embark on a quest to find a legendary landmark hidden in the Oklahoma wilderness. 

8. ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ 

When and where to see it: TBA in theaters and on Apple TV+.  

Martin Scorsese spent much of 2021 in Oklahoma working on his anticipated adaptation of the David Grann’s best-selling nonfiction book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.” The cinema icon’s $200 million Apple Studios epic chronicling the slayings of Osage Nation citizens in 1920s Oklahoma, after an oil boom made them the richest people per capita in the world, is believed to be the biggest movie production ever undertaken in the Sooner State

The Western drama boasts a starry cast including Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, Academy Award nominees Jesse Plemons and John Lithgow, Oscar hopeful Brendan Fraser and Native American actors Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal and Cara Jade Myers. Industry watchers expect Scorsese’s long-awaited “Killers” to make a splashy festival debut this year in the hopes of scoring a strong showing at the Academy Awards next year.  

9. ‘Reservation Dogs’ Season 3 

When and where to see it: TBA on Hulu. 

Since it debuted in 2021, the coming-of-age comedy has blazed trails, becoming not only the first full-time, scripted network television series to film entirely in Oklahoma but also the first mainstream TV show on which every writer, director and series regular performer is Indigenous.   

With its second season, the FX series — co-created and executive produced by Oscar-winning New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (“Thor: Love and Thunder”), who is of Maori ancestry, and Tulsa-based showrunner and moviemaker Sterlin Harjo (“Barking Water”), who is Seminole and Muscogee — appeared on best TV shows of 2022 lists from USA Today, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and more.  

With Season 3 promised in 2023, it will be interesting to see where Harjo and Co. take the beloved “Reservation Dogs” after last year’s tearjerking sophomore season finale.  

10. ‘Reagan’ 

When and where to see it: TBA.  

The biographical drama stars two-time Golden Globe nominee Dennis Quaid (“I Can Only Imagine”) as Ronald Reagan, Golden Globe nominee Penelope Ann Miller (“The Freshman”) as Nancy Reagan and Oscar winner Jon Voight (“Deliverance”) as a fictional KGB agent who trails Reagan throughout his political career.  

Inspired by Paul Kengor’s book “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism,” the biopic filmed primarily in Guthrie in fall 2020, then moved to California in early 2021 to lens at the former president’s ranch outside of Santa Barbara before returning to Oklahoma over summer 2021 to capture key outdoor scenes.  

Producer Mark Joseph told The Oklahoman in an autumn 2022 email that the film’s extensive post-production — especially de-aging special effects for Quaid and Voight — would mean a 2023 release. 

11. ‘The Awkward Stage’ 

When and where to see it: TBA.  

After making an auspicious debut last year with the drama “Tenkiller,” husband-and-wife Oklahoma filmmakers Jeremy and Kara Choate are reteaming with family, friends and breakout OKC sludge metal band Chat Pile for their “fever dream” sophomore feature. Made in a now-demolished Harrah school building, the adolescent saga centers on a student named Eugene who falls in love with a sculpture of his school’s founder.

Legendary one-man band Mike Hosty, former Chainsaw Kittens frontman Tyson Meade and cult-favorite filmmaker Mickey Reece all play teachers at the movie’s strange middle school.   

12. ‘Country Gold’ 

When and where to see it: TBA.  

Following its world premiere in summer 2022 at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Quebec, and its U.S. bow last fall at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, Reece’s latest surreal homegrown indie feature is expected to debut in theaters and via streaming this year.  

Set in 1994, it’s a fantastical country music comedy in which a despondent George Jones (OKC actor Ben Hall) decides to be cryogenically frozen. Jones invites an up-and-coming Sooner State star named Troyal Brux (Reece) to go out on the town with him in Nashville before the legend is literally frozen in time.

(For those not proficient in Oklahoma pop culture, there’s a famous singer-songwriter named Troyal Garth Brooks who goes by his middle name.) 

13. ‘Unexpected’ 

When and where to see it: TBA.  

A 2022 Nashville Film Festival selection, the offbeat comedy follows a music critic named Bob (Joseph Mazzello, “Jurassic Park”), who is out of a job, addicted to Zoloft and trying to wrangle the menagerie of animals that his wife Amy (Anna Camp, “Pitch Perfect”) has accumulated. The couple must decide if adopting a baby will cure their existential angst — or if they should just rescue another duck. 

Patricia Heaton, of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame, and her husband, David Hunt, produced the film under their FourBoys Entertainment banner, with Hunt also directing. Oklahoma native Brent Ryan Green also is a producer on the movie. Written by Rodney Patrick Vaccaro, the adaptation of Bob Tarte’s 2003 book “Enslaved by Ducks” was filming in the Sooner State when the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020 halted production.  

14. ‘Chicken House’ 

When and where to see it: TBA.  

After bowing her promising feature film directorial debut “She’s the Eldest” at deadCenter 2020, busy OKC actor and helmer Cate Jones returned to the state’s largest film festival in 2022 with her follow-up, “Chicken House.”  

The subversive comedy centers on three small-town actresses who take in a mysterious new roommate from Los Angeles (Jones), who shakes up their lives as well as the lives of two Latter Days Saints and a poltergeist.  

15. ‘Cricket’s Requiem’  

When and where to see it: TBA.  

Skye Dakota Turner, who played the young Aretha Franklin in the 2021 biopic “Respect,” stars as Cricket Sullivan, an introverted teen drawn to churches where she can steal candles for her sick mother. Caught in the act by a grieving choir director and assigned to polish one church’s pews as penance, she finds an unlikely friendship that helps her unlock her true gift to the world.  

Written by Tameson Duffy (“Grey’s Anatomy”), the inspirational film (previously titled “Cricket”) is produced by the OKC-based husband-and-wife team of Amy and Richard Janes, who helped found Green Pastures Studio. With Richard Janes directing, the musical drama was filmed last year at the studio as well as on location in OKC.  

16. ‘I Am a Man: The True Story of Ponca Chief Standing Bear’ 

When and where to see it: Possibly late 2023 or early 2024.  

In December, filmmaker Andrew Troy, who is part Chiricahua Apache, confirmed that he’d received final funding to begin filming in significant locations, including in Nebraska and in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, on his fact-based feature. 

With formal approval from the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, the historical drama — an early recipient of the Cherokee Nation Film Incentive — will depict the 1879 landmark trial of Standing Bear v. the United States of America, which helped establish the rights for all Native Americans to be considered human beings under U.S. law.  

Whether it is finished in time for 2023 release or held over to a later date, the film will be based on the book “I Am a Man” by Joseph Starita.  

17. ‘Tulsa King’ Season 2  

When and where to see: Possibly late 2023 or early 2024 on Paramount+.  

Even before the first season ended on a cliffhanger, the freshman series created by “Yellowstone” mastermind Taylor Sheridan and starring three-time Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone proved popular enough on Paramount+ to earn a speedy renewal for its sophomore season.  

While Season 1 of the modern-day gangster-Western mashup was filmed primarily in the Sooner State — and is considered the biggest scripted TV series to ever film in Oklahoma — it’s unclear at this point when and where production on Season 2 will begin.  

18. ‘The Unbreakable Boy’ 

When and where to see it: TBA. 

Faith-based filmmakers Andrew and Jon Erwin, who made the true-life features “I Can Only Imagine” and “American Underdog” in the Sooner State, filmed a movie adaptation of the book “The Unbreakable Boy: A Father’s Fear, a Son’s Courage, and a Story of Unconditional Love” by Scott M. LeRette and Susy Flory, in central Oklahoma in fall 2020.

The family drama centers on Austin (Jacob Laval) who was born with a rare brittle-bone disease and autism. With his joyous perspective, Austin transforms everyone around him, especially his dad (Zachary Levi).  

The inspirational film was originally slated for spring 2022 theatrical release before distributor Lionsgate removed it from last year’s calendar. Will we see the film in 2023? Time will tell. 

#Killers #Flower #Moon #Reagan #Oklahomamade #movies #shows



Credit