'Wind River: The Next Chapter' Coming Soon, First Details Revealed

Wind River is getting a sequel. A follow-up to the acclaimed 2017 crime drama written and directed by Yellowstone's Taylor Sheridan, is now in development, producers announced in November. Sheridan and the first film's two stars, Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, are not involved. Martin Sensmeier, who played Chip Hanson in the first film, is the only actor returning so far. The new movie will be helmed by The Falcon and The Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland.

Wind River: The Next Chapter will be produced by Castle Rock Entertainment, reports Variety. In The Next Chapter, Chip Hanson (Sensmeier) is now a tracker for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The FBI enlists him to help them solve a series of ritualistic murders on the Wind River reservation. Hanson finds himself in the middle of a "desperate and dangerous fight between the authorities, a vigilante, and the Reservation he calls home," according to the studio's logline.

Production will start in January 2023. Patrick Massett and John Zinman (Tomb Raider, Friday Night Lights) will write the screenplay. Skogland was hired to direct. She was nominated for an Emmy for directing The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 episode "After" and directed six episodes of the Disney+ Marvel Studios series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Skogland is also attached to direct Gal Gadot's long-gestating Cleopatra movie. There have not been many updates on that project since June when Deadline reported that Universal was interested in picking it up from Paramount.

Wind River starred Render as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert and Olsen as FBI special agent Jane Banner. The two worked together to solve a murder in the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. The supporting cast included Yellowstone stars Gil Birmingham and Kelsey Asbille. It is available to stream on Amazon's Freevee service, Tubi, and Pluto TV.

The movie earned critical acclaim after its debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. It was originally backed by The Weinstein Company, but Lionsgate acquired the rights after the company collapsed because of the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Wind River grossed $45 million and cost just $11 million to produce.

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Castle Rock's decision to make a Wind River sequel is a sign of just how popular Sheridan's work is. Yellowstone Season 5 debuted in early November, with an astonishing 8.8 million viewers tuning in to the premiere on Paramount Network. Paramount also aired the episode on CMT, TV Land, and Pop, bringing the total viewership to 10.3 million for the first episode. The next Yellowstone prequel series, 1923, will debut on Dec. 18. Sheridan's Tulsa King debuted on Paramount+ on Nov. 13, while Mayor of Kingstown Season 2 will begin on Jan. 15.