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George R.R. Martin producing 'Dark Winds' thriller starring Zahn McClarnon

George R. R. Martin is executive producing a psychological thriller set in the 1970s Southwest for AMC. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
George R. R. Martin is executive producing a psychological thriller set in the 1970s Southwest for AMC. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 9 (UPI) -- Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and Oscar-winning actor Robert Redford are executive producing Dark Winds, a contemporary western starring Longmire and Westworld alum Zahn McClarnon.

AMC Networks announced it ordered the psychological thriller series, which is set in the 1970s American Southwest, on Friday.

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Expected to premiere next year, the show follows two Navajo police officers "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," a synopsis said.

Based on the Leaphorn & Chee book series by Tony Hillerman, Dark Winds was created and executive produced by Graham Roland whose credits include Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, The Returned, Almost Human and Fringe.

Vince Calandra -- who has worked on Castle Rock and Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan -- is showrunner and executive producer on Dark Winds.

Smoke Signals and Skinwalkers director Chris Eyre will helm the pilot and executive produce the series.

"Tony Hillerman was one of the greats, as every mystery reader knows. Down here in the Southwest, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee are as iconic as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Philip Marlowe, and Travis McGee," Martin said in a statement.

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"When my friends Robert Redford and Chris Eyre asked me to help bring Leaphorn and Chee back to television, I could not agree fast enough. We have great source material in Tony's novel Listening Woman, a great pilot script from Graham Roland, a great director in Chris... and what a pair of leads, with Zahn McClarnon as Leaphorn and Kiowa Gordon as Chee!"

Martin said the plan is to film the show in and around Santa Fe and on the Navajo reservation.

"We are bringing in as many Navajo and other Native Americans as possible, as writers, directors, cast, and crew, to capture all the magic and mystery and wonder of the Land of Enchantment," Martin said. "Thanks to AMC for making it possible. Tony Hillerman wrote a lot of amazing books, and it is our dream to adapt as many of them as we can."

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