AMC’s Psycho-Thriller ‘Dark Winds’ Is a Captivating Western Noir

Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC

For decades, bestselling author Tony Hillerman immersed readers in the thrilling cases of Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Sgt. Jim Chee, two Native American police officers whose differing ideologies and spirituality, at times, challenged the criminal justice system they were sworn to uphold.

Robert Redford optioned Hillerman’s iconic book series Leaphorn & Chee three decades ago and produced two movies about them. Redford serves as executive producer of AMC’s new Dark Winds TV series alongside George R.R. Martin.

The 1970s-set psychological thriller stars Zahn McClarnon (Longmire) as Leaphorn, a Navajo tribal cop who is tasked with solving a grisly double murder while straddling the fence between his job and his culture. His new partner Chee, played by Kiowa Gordon (Roswell), has some scars from his past he’s equally challenged by. Rounding out the cast in supporting roles are Noah Emmerich (The Americans) as Special Agent Whitover and Rainn Wilson (The Office) as Devoted Dan.

Wilson’s character is definitely a departure from what we’re used to seeing. “Well, you do get to see my full exposed torso and a pair of tighty whities, so that is worth the price of admission,” Wilson tells. “He’s a car dealer, and a double dealer, and a born-again, and a preacher, and wherever there’s corruption happening around, you’ll find Devoted Dan right in the middle of it.”

AMC believes these characters will live right alongside the likes of Don Draper, Walter White, Rick Grimes and others in the AMC Hall of Fame. “It’s a thrilling murder mystery that takes place in and around the lands of the Navajo Nation in the Monument Valley, which hasn’t been accessed for filming since the days of John Ford,” shares Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios. “The series features the rich and vibrant Navajo culture and community in ways it’s never been seen before.”

Dark Winds premieres on AMC June 12 at 9pm ET/PT and streams on AMC+.

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