Screenwriters and directors rarely become household names. But Taylor Sheridan's uncanny ability to create gripping stories that leave viewers on the edge of their seats has undoubtedly made him one. While most may know him from his hit TV dramas including Yellowstone, Tulsa King, Mayor of Kingstown and Sons of Anarchy, he's also the mastermind behind some crazy popular films.
In 2015, Sheridan released Sicario, hoping that the crime-thriller -- set on the U.S.-Mexico border -- would be the first installment in a trilogy about "the modern-day American frontier." Hell or High Water -- a Texas-set bank robbery movie -- was released the following year as the second installment in the trilogy. Wind River, released in 2017, was the third.
"The films explore how much and how little has changed since the American West was settled," he said in a 2017 Newsweek interview, "as well as the consequence of that settlement."
Unsurprisingly, the tale -- about a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker who teams up with an FBI agent to investigate a murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation -- was a hit with fans and critics alike. It was so much so that in late 2022, a sequel was announced to be in the works.
So what can we expect from the continuation of this intense and compelling story? Here's everything we know so far about Wind River: The Next Chapter.
Is Taylor Sheridan Involved?
While he may have been the one to create the story, it looks as if Sheridan will not be directing the sequel. Instead, Kari Skogland -- a Canadian filmmaker best known for her work on The Handmaid's Tale, Vikings and The Americans -- will take the reins.
Whether missing Sheridan's touch will affect the Wind River sequel remains to be seen. But with Skogland's impressive resume? in directing shows that garner a cult-like following, we're sure it's in good hands.
What Is Wind River: The Next Chapter About?
Without spoiling it for those who have yet to see the first Wind River movie, the ending wasn't something that necessarily begged for a follow-up. However, writers Patrick Massett and John Zinman have apparently crafted a story that will delve deeper into all the unspoken horrors that have happened on the Wind River Indian Reservation -- a real reservation located in central Wyoming.
Wind River: The Next Chapter will reportedly focus on a new wave of unsolved murders on the reservation that are of the ritualistic variety. To help close the case, the FBI enlists the help of Chris Hanson, a brand-new tracker for U.S. Fish and Wildlife who "finds himself embroiled in a desperate and dangerous fight between the authorities, a vigilante, and the Reserve he calls home."
Who Is In It?
The entire cast list has not been released, but audiences will be happy to see some familiar faces from the original film. While Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen will not reprise their roles as the lead characters, fan favorite Martin Sensmeier will return as Chris Hanson. And Wind River isn't the actor's only experience in Sheridan's fictional worlds. He also played Sam in the Yellowstone prequel 1883.
Also on the docket are Scott Eastwood, Chaske Spencer and Jason Clarke. It's unclear what roles they'll play, but you've likely seen these faces in Hollywood before. Eastwood is best known for his appearances in movies such as Suicide Squad and Pacific Rim: Uprising, while Spencer made his mark in the Twilight Saga as Sam Uley. Clarke is no stranger to on-screen dramas, including Zero Dark Thirty, Mudbound and Pet Sematary.
More information about the cast and plot of Wind River: The Next Chapter is likely to be announced in the coming months, since the movie is currently in production in Calgary.
Is Wind River Based On A True Story?
No, Wind River is not based on a true story. It is, however, inspired by the very real lack of resources and data on missing, raped and murdered Indigenous women. Sheridan told Newsweek that he wanted to explore an area of crime that goes largely ignored.
"The social issues that Native Americans face are the same as in other parts of the country -- domestic abuse, poverty, drug addiction, alcoholism -- but on the reservation, no one is watching or listening," he said. "While missing person statistics are compiled for every other demographic, none exist for Native American women. I had two attorneys spend three months trying to get that statistic. But no one knows how many are missing."
Even though Sheridan is not a part of the upcoming sequel, it's easy to assume that the spirit of Wind River -- to give a voice to those who are often neglected -- will live on in the follow-up.
When Will It Be Released?
Because the film is currently in production, it's unclear exactly when Wind River: The Next Chapter will be released -- but, hopefully, we won't have to wait long.
READ MORE: 'Mayor of Kingstown' Co-Creator Hugh Dillon on Jeremy Renner's Snowplow Accident & the Show's Future: 'He's a Fighter'
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