Zahn McClarnon will star and executive produce with Kiowa Gordon also starring. Graham Roland will write and executive produce. Vince Calandra will be showrunner and executive producer. Chris Eyre will direct the pilot and executive produce. George R.R. Martin, Robert Redford, Tina Elmo and Vince Gerardis will also executive produce. AMC Studios will produce.
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“Dark Winds” is described as a psychological thriller that follows two Navajo police officers in the 1970s Southwest, as their search for clues in a grisly double murder case forces them to challenge their own spiritual beliefs and come to terms with the trauma of their pasts.
“We are excited to welcome Chris Eyre, AMC Studios, and the industry’s top executives for the production of ‘Dark Winds,’ part of which will be filmed on the Navajo Nation,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “I also welcome my friend, Robert Redford, back to our Nation once again. This week, the Navajo Nation lifted more COVID-19 restrictions to welcome visitors and tourists back to Diné Bikéyah. We look forward to welcoming the film crew and we hope this will serve to draw more interest from production companies and draw more tourists to boost our economy and contribute to the ‘Buy Navajo, Buy Local’ initiative. Thank you to everyone involved in this great venture with the Great Navajo Nation!”
Season 1 will consist of six episodes. It is slated to debut on AMC and AMC Plus in 2022.
“We’re thrilled by the prospect of authentically telling this story with a group of remarkably talented individuals,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “This is a rich and deeply unsettling psychological thriller set in a world we know viewers will appreciate experiencing for themselves. The series order is the product of several months in a writers’ room staffed entirely by Native American writers, and it is a series that will be brought to life by those storytellers, with a cast led by Zahn McClarnon and featuring Native American actors, filmed largely in and around Native American lands, with the full support and blessing of The Navajo Nation. We are so excited about telling this captivating and entertaining story while rendering this vibrant, rich, wonderful culture and community on AMC+ and AMC.”
McClarnon is no stranger to AMC audiences, having previously appeared in the network’s series adaptation of the novel “The Son.” He will also appear in the upcoming MCU-Disney Plus series “Hawkeye.” His other TV credits include “Fargo,” “Longmire,” and “Westworld,” while his film credits include “Doctor Sleep” and “Bone Tomahawk.” Gordon most recently appeared in the CW reboot “Roswell, New Mexico.” He previously appeared in shows like “The Red Road” and “Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous.”
“I am honored to be asked to star as the lead in this innovative series for AMC and to executive produce,” McClarnon said. “To have the support and to be a part of a team which is led by two iconic visionaries as George R.R. Martin and Robert Redford is something to which I’ve always aspired. I believe as Indigenous people we are in a new era of progress in TV and film representation.”
McClarnon is repped by Amsel Eisenstadt Frazier & Hinojosa Talent Agency. Gordon is repped by Clear Talent Group and GM Management.
“I read my first Tony Hillerman novel in 1986 while filming in New Mexico and was immediately hooked,” Redford said. “Hillerman is a master storyteller, his writing is full of mystery and suspense, set amidst a background that blends traditional oral stories of Native American culture and landscape. I am happy to partner with George R.R. Martin and AMC on this project, and am especially grateful for the collaboration with President Nez and The Navajo Nation.”
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