Dark Winds Names Hell on Wheels EP as New Season 2 Showrunner

A seasoned collaborator is returning to AMC to direct Dark Winds Season 2.

John Wirth, who has previously worked on Hell on Wheels and SundanceTV’s Hap and Leonard, will take over as the acclaimed drama’s showrunner after Vince Calandra (Castle Rock) leaves the position.

AMC Studios president Dan McDermott stated on Wednesday, “We are happy to welcome John Wirth, someone we know well and have worked so effectively with on several projects, most notably Hell on Wheels, to the Dark Winds creative team. We are excited for the ride to continue in 2019 after this series swiftly became one of the breakthrough successes of the year on both linear television and streaming.

I’m excited to be coming back to AMC to work on the Dark Winds team for Season 2 with Zahn McClarnon, Chris Eyre, George RR Martin, Robert Redford, and others, said Wirth. I’ve been a fan of Tony Hillerman’s books for a very long time, and I’m looking forward to working with my native collaborators to bring his writings and the Navajo Nation’s world to life on screen.

Set in 1971 on a remote Navajo Nation outpost near Monument Valley and based on the Leaphorn & Chee book series by Tony Hillerman, Dark Winds follows Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Tribal Police as he is hounded by a string of crimes that at first glance seem unrelated. Fargo’s McClarnon plays Leaphorn in the film. His new deputy, Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon of Roswell, New Mexico), who has unfinished business from his time growing up on the reservation, travels with him on this voyage. On the way to salvation, the two men fight against the powers of evil, one another, and their individual demons together.

Nash Bridges, Hop and Leonard, Hell on Wheels, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Terminator… McClarnon and Eyre released a joint statement in which they said, “John Wirth is a man who needs no introduction and knows his way around a captivating and very watchable subject. We have so much rich material to explore thanks to Tony Hillerman, and we can’t wait to get started on Season 2 with the rest of the creative team and John as our showrunner. We all want to give Dark Winds fans something unique when we come back.

Only three episodes into its debut season, Dark Winds was given a Season 2 renewal in June. In 2023, six brand-new episodes will air on AMC (and AMC+).

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