Zahn McLarnon (Hawkeye, Westworld and Doctor Sleep) has landed the lead role in AMC’s upcoming adaptation of author Tony Hillerman’s Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series of crime fiction novels. McLarnon will play Navajo Nation Police officer Joe Leaphorn, a role previously played by Fred Ward in the 1991 film adaptation of the fifth novel in the series, The Dark Wind, and by Wes Studi in the PBS adaptations.
The AMC series, which seems to be a bit of reimagining of Hillerman’s series, will see Leaphorn investigating the murder of a Najavo woman in Arizona’s Monument Valley in the 1970s. Leaphorn will be joined in his investigation by new deputy, Jim Chee, a half-white, half-Navajo FBI agent working undercover to dig into some darker forces working behind the scenes. Chee was a major character in Hellerman’s novels, starring in 15 of them over the years.
AMC is currently prepping the pilot for production which is set to begin filming this August in New Mexico. Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal member Chris Eyre is directing the pilot based off a script from Graham Roland, who wrote and executive produced Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan for Amazon.