We’re pleased to report that the next 365 days will be a big year for Natives worldwide at the box office. Here’s your checklist for the upcoming year! (You’ll be surprised by some of the names included on this list.)
The Magnificent Seven (September 2016)
Martin Sensmeier’s portrayal of Red Harvest in The Magnificent Seven will be exciting for Native audiences. In a star-studded cast that includes Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio and Chris Pratt, Sensmeier stands out as a force for Indian country..
The western centers around a group of seven men who help a struggling village stave off an army of western combatants.
Spreading Darkness (October 2016)
Irene Bedard (Inupiat) landed a big role in a psychological thriller about a corrupt CEO who becomes afraid of stalkers in the form of his former victims. Acting veteran Eric Roberts has the lead role in the film.
Bedard’s been most recently seen in Longmire and Songs My Brother Taught Me.
The official release will be in theaters Oct. 15
Juliana & the Medicine Fish (2016)
It’s been almost a decade since the director of this film, expected to be released in 2016, released this project as a short in Canada. Now, Adam Beach, Emma Tremblay and Roseanne Supernault anchor his feature film version.
Upon losing her mother, a 12-year-old returns to a magical lake where she finds a musky that could help save her father’s tourist lodge. She learns it’s a medicine fish with power that ensures the lake’s survival must decide whether to use it to save the family business or let it live.
Ghostkiller (January 2017)
Ghostkiller sends a Native boy back to 1862 in order to confront those responsible for present-day murders – all the while saving his ancestors from a mass execution.
Zahn McClarnon is rumored to be in the lead in this movie, which doesn’t have much out despite its announced release date of Jan. 1, 2017.
The Shack (March 2017)
Graham Greene was as busy in 2016 as he’s ever been. He’ll be back on the big screen on March 3, 2017 alongside Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer in this drama about a man (Worthington) who suffers a family tragedy and subsequently receives a note telling him to venture to a cabin in the Oregon wilderness. There, upon meeting Greene and two others, he comes to grips with the tragedy.
Transformers: The Last Knight (June 2017)
Continuing in the Michael Bay Transformers franchise, The Last Knight includes Gil Birmingham (Comanche) as Chief Sherman in the movie slated for a June 23, 2017 release.
Mark Wahlberg will again be in the leading role, backed up by the likes of Anthony Hopkins, John Goodman and Ken Watanabe.
The plot is currently unknown, according to IMDB, so who knows if he’s a police chief or a tribal chief?
Cary Rosenbaum (Colville) is a correspondent and columnist for Indian Country Today. Follow him on Twitter @caryrosenbaum