AMC has renewed its hit “Southwestern film noir” series Dark Winds for a third season. Based on author Tony Hillerman‘s beloved “Leaphorn and Chee” book series, Zahn McClarnon and Kiowa Gordon star, respectively, as Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, a pair of Navajo police officers investigating a series of violent crimes.
The second season of the show just dropped in July.
The 1970s-set thriller series was produced by Hillerman fans Robert Redford and George R.R. Martin, whose book series A Song of Ice and Fire became the HBO hit Game of Thrones.
For Native Americans McClarnon and Gordon, the series is a game changer for representation: McClarnon is one of two Native executive producers on the show, and the show is staffed with indigenous writers, directors, crew members, and of course, other indigenous actors and actresses.
McClarnon told ABC Audio before the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, “We’re having more control over our stories. It’s getting more visibility. I think that’s very important.”
Gordon says this shared Native heritage with cast and crew acts as something of a shorthand. “Yeah, I mean…there [are] so many similarities with them. I mean, it’s a different group of people from different tribes all over, and we’re coming together,” he expresses. “You know, we have differences, but also we all have the same kind of humor. I’d say that’s a huge connector for all of us.”
He calls it an “incredible and powerful thing” to have so much representation both in front of and behind the camera. “[I]t’s been years and decades and a century in the making, you know, when film first started the depictions of Native people,” Gordon says.
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