Castle Rock Entertainment will be producing a feature-film sequel to Taylor Sheridan’s 2017 hit “Wind River.” The follow-up, titled “Wind River: The Next Chapter,” is to be directed by Kari Skogland (episodes of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “The Loudest Voice” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” along with Paramount’s upcoming Gal Gadot-starring “Cleopatra” biopic) from a screenplay by Patrick Massett and John Zinman.
Martin Sensmeier, also from episodes of “1883” and “Westworld” along with the 2016 remake of “The Magnificent Seven,” will reprise his role as Chip Hanson. The film will focus on Hanson, now a newly minted tracker for the U.S. Fish & Game, as he is enlisted by the FBI to help investigate a series of ritualistic murders before becoming entangled between authorities, a vigilante and the reservation he calls home.
The sequel will be produced by Matthew George for Castle Rock Entertainment and Acacia Filmed Entertainment, Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee for Thunder Road Pictures. Executive producers include Castle Rock’s Rob Reiner, Michele Reiner, Derrick Rossi, Jonathan Fuhrman, Courtney Shepard and Hernan Narea.
Released in the summer of 2017, “Wind River” earned strong reviews (88% fresh and 7.7/10 on Rotten Tomatoes) and became a modest theatrical success ($33 million domestic and $44 million worldwide on an $11 million budget). That the Jeremy Renner/Elizabeth Olsen mystery drama is getting a follow-up is partially due to the rise in popularity of original writer/director Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan’s “Yellowstone” has become one of the most popular shows on television.
The Kevin Costner-starring neo-western/primetime soap opera has become a linear television sensation in a streaming era, with the Season 4 finale pulling in the biggest live viewership for a cable show (10.3 million viewers, 9.3 million on the Paramount Network and 1 million on CMT) since 2017. The period piece spin-off “1883” has been a popular favorite on Paramount+, with more spin-offs in various stages of development. The Harrison Ford/Helen Mirren-starring “1923” will premiere on Paramount+ Dec. 18.
While Sheridan is not currently involved with the next “Wind River” movie, it is likely the rise of “Yellowstone,” at least as much as any lingering affection for “Wind River” (or an “IP for the sake of IP” mentality) made this an attractive proposition for Castle Rock Entertainment. The studio relaunched last October with a $175MM film fund under CEO Rob Reiner, and co-presidents Matthew George and Michele Reiner and have recently announced a sequel to the 1984 comedy hit “The Is Spinal Tap” for release in early 2024.
Skogland is represented by WME and Anonymous Content. Sensmeier is represented by Buchwald and Justine Hunt.