An Adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee Novels Has George R.R. Martin Among Its Producers

George R.R. Martin is co-executive producing another TV show—and this time, it’s not one based on his own books. Martin is part of the team behind Dark Winds, a series adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee series. The show is set to star Kiowa Gordon (Roswell, New Mexico) and Zahn McClarnon (Westworld), with McClarnon also producing. AMC has already ordered a six-episode first season.

Dark Winds takes its title from the fifth book in the Leaphorn and Chee series, The Dark Wind, though according to a statement from Martin, the primary source material is Listening Woman, the third book in the series. The show, according to Variety, is “a psychological thriller that follows two Navajo police officers in the 1970s Southwest, as their search for clues in a grisly double murder case forces them to challenge their own spiritual beliefs and come to terms with the trauma of their pasts.” Variety also quotes AMC president Dan McDermott, who says the series’ writers’ room is staffed entirely with Native American writers, and the show will be filmed partly on the Navajo Nation, with their support.

Showrunner Vine Calandra has a resume full of adaptations, including Sharp Objects and Castle Rock; one of the writers, Graham Roland, has worked on FringeLost, and Almost Human. The executive producers also include Vince Gerardis (Game of Thrones) and Robert Redford.

Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals) will direct the pilot. Interestingly, it’s not his first time working with these characters: Eyre also directed Skinwalkers and A Thief of Time, two TV movies based on Hillerman’s Leaphorn and Chee novels. (The two films, along with Coyote Waits, directed by Jan Egelson, were collected and repackaged as Skinwalkers: The Navajo Mysteries.)

Dark Winds is expected to premiere on AMC in 2022.


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