AMC raises finger and determines Dark Winds strong enough for another season

·1 min read
Zahn McClarnon as Joe Leaphorn
Zahn McClarnon as Joe Leaphorn

These Dark Winds aren’t subsiding anytime soon. With AMC’s weather vanes spinning off its axis over the success of the new series, the network announced that the hit western noir thriller Dark Winds would return for season two, with six new episodes premiering next year.

Dark Winds is a long time coming. In development for more than 30 years, the rights to Tony Hillerman’s book series have passed through famous hands before making its way to AMC, including Robert Redford’s. But, joined by Hillerman’s friend George R.R. Martin, Redford stayed on board to produce the series.

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In 2002, Redford told the L.A. Times, “Getting an all-Native American cast financed above a certain budget was just really hard to do. We are not idiots about the commercial realities. But I think what happens is that we all identify what we are convinced is a sure-fire thing. It was a bestselling author and a mystery genre. But I was sort of surprised there was as much resistance.”

That’s no longer the case. Dark Winds’ production worked closely with the Navajo Nation, who granted special permission to film on tribal lands in New Mexico at Tesuque Pueblo and Cochiti Pueblo. The writers’ room for the show was also entirely Native American, and they wrote for a predominantly Native American cast.

Our own Saloni Gajjar gave the show high praise when Dark Winds premiered earlier this month. She wrote:

Dark Winds does a lot. It beautifully explores rich Indigenous traditions without pinpointing exactly what they mean. It boasts striking visuals of the geographical isolation of the Valley—there’s an open road, burning heat, and little else—that are diametrical to the sense of community and belonging between its citizens [...] In the end, Dark Winds is a must-watch for its performances, direction, location, and style.

Dark Winds airs on AMC Sunday nights.