The critically acclaimed psychological thriller Dark Winds takes place on the Navajo Nation Reservation near Monument Valley. The series is based on Tony Hillerman's Leaphorn & Chee book series. There are a total of 18 books about the main characters, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. The first book was published in 1970, and the series came to an end in 2006.
So far, there are two seasons of Dark Winds available on AMC. The second season premiered on July 31, 2023. If we're lucky, we'll see even more of the hit series. Lack of stories from the book series should not be a problem for Dark Winds for many years to come. Hopefully, the show gets renewed for season 3.
Graham Roland developed Dark Winds for AMC. The cast includes Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Deanna Allison, Jessica Matten, Rainn Wilson, Jeremiah Bitsui, Elva Guerra, Eugene Brave Rock, and Noah Emmerich. Dark Winds premiered in June 2022 and ran for six episodes. Season 2 also consists of six episodes.
Where was Dark Winds filmed?
Production on Dark Winds started in August 2021 in Santa Fe New Mexico. Filming also took place in Navajo Nation and Camel Rock Studios, as well as Espinosa, Kayenta, Monument Valley Tribal Park, Pueblo de Cochiti, and Mexican Hat.
Dark Winds is filmed at Camel Rock Studios, which used to be a former casino, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It was turned into a studio in 2021 by the Tesuque Pueblo tribe. The series was one of the first projects to book the new studio.
Executive producer and director of Dark Winds, Chris Eyre, told THR that they fell in love with the studio for Dark Winds. Here's what he told THR:
"What everybody fell in love with was the fact that we were able to shoot on tribal land. We’re putting money into a tribal economy, diversifying their businesses. If we’re going to make Native content, let’s do it right."
As we know, few shows and movie adaptations are actually filmed where the source material is set, but Dark Winds is one of the exceptions. One of the coolest things about the series is it has tried to stay as true as possible to Tony Hillerman's books, resulting in a much more genuine adaptation.
New Mexico is one of the most beautiful places in the world. In recent years, it's also become a hotbed of TV and film production with Netflix and other studios doing major business in the state, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As mentioned, most of Tony Hillerman’s novels are set in the Four Corners of the Southwest, in the Navajo Nation of Arizona and New Mexico, part of southeastern Utah, and around Shiprock, New Mexico.
There is nothing on television quite like Dark Winds. We are living in a time where viewers of all ages can see real representation on screen. It’s beautiful to see and long overdue.