The first season of AMC's Dark Winds has come to an end -- and while we may still be reeling from the shock of all that happened, fans are already speculating about what season 2 has in store.
For those needing a quick recap, Dark Winds is an intense Western thriller -- set in a remote Navajo Nation outpost near Monument Valley in Arizona -- that follows two members of the tribal police as they uncover a series of sinister events. Based on the hit novel series Leaphorn & Chee by Tony Hillerman, the series premiered in 2022 to a whopping 2.2 million viewers. Just a few weeks later, the show was renewed for a second season.
"This once-in-a-lifetime creative team and cast have delivered something truly special with 'Dark Winds,'" Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, told Variety. "We can't wait to share the rest of this thrill ride of a first season with the fans and follow Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee into a second season on AMC and AMC+ next year."
While fans are thrilled that the adventures of Leaphorn and Chee are continuing, the details of season 2 remain a mystery. Here's what we know so far.
There's A New Showrunner
While Vince Calandra did the debut season of Dark Winds well, Variety reported that John Wirth is taking over as the show's showrunner and executive producer for season 2. The longtime producer and writer is responsible for other hit crime dramas including Hap and Leonard and Nash Bridges and Westerns such as Hell on Wheels.
"We are thrilled to welcome John Wirth, someone we know well and have collaborated with so successfully on multiple shows -- most notably 'Hell on Wheels' -- to the 'Dark Winds' creative team," McDermott told the outlet. "This series quickly became one of the breakout hits of the year, on both linear television and streaming, and we are looking forward to the ride continuing next year."
Wirth called himself a "long-time fan" of Hillerman's novels, adding that he's "looking forward to working with my indigenous partners to bring his books and the world of the Navajo Nation to life on screen."
New Faces Are Joining The Cast
The cast of Dark Winds is already star-studded with the likes of Zahn McClarnon as Joe Leaphorn and Kiowa Gordon as Jim Chee. However, two new names are joining the show for season 2.
Nicholas Logan will be stepping in as a series regular playing Colton Wolf, a character described by Deadline as a "twisted assassin with a secret that puts him on a collision course with Lt. Joe Leaphorn." While the actor has been on the scene for over a decade, he's probably best known for his recent appearances in movies such as I Care a Lot and shows including Dopesick.
Jeri Ryan of Star Trek fame will embody the role of femme fatale Rosemary Vines, "whose physical frailties hide her naked ambition as she plays Jim Chee (Gordon), leaving a trail of bodies in her wake." Outside of her extraterrestrial projects, Ryan also has an impressive list of crime-drama credits, including Bosch, Major Crimes and Body of Proof.
Also joining the cast are Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison and Elva Guerra, though their roles have not yet been confirmed.
There Will Be Six Episodes
Just like the first season, season 2 will be short. The Digital Fix reported that only six episodes are confirmed for the upcoming installment -- but exactly what those six episodes will be about is still very much up in the air.
According to producer George R.R. Martin's blog, the first season followed Hillerman's book Listening Women "with some of 'People of Darkness' folded in." Apparently, the second season will complete the People of Darkness storyline.
There are a total of 18 Leaphorn & Chee books, so the writers and producers have more than enough material to work with. The show's creator, Graham Roland, told Variety that they've already picked the book they'll focus on, not mentioning the title Martin wrote of in his blog.
"We talked a lot about the second season, even during the first one, and what book we would tackle next. We have one picked out," he said. "I don't know if I'm allowed to say what book it is. I don't want to step on the new showrunner's toes. But that's kind of our model, one book a season."
The Premiere Is Scheduled
We finally have a release date for Dark Winds season 2 and it's right around the corner. Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 30. Based on the newly released trailer, it looks very exciting.
So while fans wait with bated breath, they can take solace in the fact that -- in a sea of shows full of mystery and crime -- Dark Winds is sailing its way back to our screens soon.
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