A new AMC series has officially been renewed for Season 2, following a strong debut with a Certified Fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes. TVLine reports that Dark Winds, an intense western thriller that debuted earlier this month, will be coming back for more episodes. The has only aired three episodes to date, and already has a 100% Fresh score among critics and a 90% Fresh score with viewers. Notably, Dark Winds is an adaptation of the Leaphorn & Chee book series, a classic novel franchise written by late author Tony Hillerman.
Dark Winds follows three Navajo police officers — Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee, and Bernadette Manuelito —as they investigate a series of mysterious situations that all seem to be unconnected, the officers discover more commonalities than they imaged. The three main characters are played, respectively, by Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, and Jessica Matten. Interestingly, the trio of castmates has long been friends, and all even worked on the Discovery/Netflix series Frontier prior to Dark Winds. Recently, the cast of the new show sat down with PopCulture.com to talk about all things Dark Winds, including what it was like filming the intense show and how "it's a beautiful watch."
Speaking about the show's source material, McClarnon shared, "I grew up being aware of them. I read some when I was in my early twenties, probably 30 years ago. I read a few of the Tony Hillerman books." He added, "You know, they were within our culture as well. Tony wrote about the Navajo culture... I think it was '71, was the first book. So they've, they've been around a long time. I was very aware of 'em, and George R. R. Martin and Robert Redford, Chris Eyre, Tina Elmo came to me and asked me to be a part of it. And I was extremely excited. You know, I was honored to be part of such a prestigious team."
Addressing why she was eager to portray Sergeant Manuelito, Matten explained, "I had just come off of a show playing a tribal cop in Canada, and was a producer on that as well, too. So, a little bit of a typecast, but I don't mind it. I love it." She added, "I've known Zahn for, I think eight years. I've known Kiowa and Zahn for about eight years now. So, you know, I saw Zahn's name on it. It was kind of like a no-brainer because you know, it just it's like working with family and it was an opportunity to spend more time together."
Finally, offering his thoughts on what viewers can expect from Dark Winds, Gordon said, "I want people to know that it there's more than just the exterior of like, 'Oh, this is that native series of detectives.' We're gonna find some mystical elements here, but also, you can explain it. It's actually... it's happening. People have their traditions and we have to respect people's cultures."
He added, "And I just hope that people take away, there's a heart to this thing. It's a beautiful watch. These characters, they have these relationships that they go through. There's so much loss and there's also a lot of love that you can take from it." In addition to McClarnon, Gordon, and Matten, the show also stars Noah Emmerich, Rainn Wilson, and Deanna Allison. Dark Winds debuted June 12 on AMC and AMC+, with new episodes debuting weekly on Sundays until the finale on July 17.