National Geographic Channel has released the first photos from the set of Saints & Strangers, a film that tells a more accurate version of the Mayflower/Pilgrims story, and three Native American actors are prominently showcased.
In the still, Kalani Queypo, Raul Trujillo, and Tatanka Means are featured in costume; the trio play, respectively, Squanto, Massasoit, and Hobbamock.
"Saints & Strangers isn’t your grandmother’s Thanksgiving pilgrims story," according to Yahoo News. "National Geographic Channel’s upcoming original four-hour movie event digs deep into Plymouth lore, telling the sometimes-harsh, often-uplifting tale of 101 men, women, and children who crossed the fearsome Atlantic Ocean to settle into the New World."
The three-month shoot is still underway in South Africa. Tatanka Means tells ICTMN that the target premiere date of the four-hour movie event is in November. "The language we will be speaking is Western Abenaki (Eastern Algonquian)," he adds, "and it's being taught by dialect coach and speaker Jesse Bowman Bruchac."
Queypo, Trujillo, Means on the set of 'Saints & Strangers.' Courtesy National Geographic Channel.
Trujillo (Apache, Comanche, Pueblo and Tlascalan) is one of Indian country's most accomplished actors, having appeared in the films The New World, Apocalypto, Cowboys & Aliens and Riddick. He's also a regular on TV, having appeared in recurring roles on acclaimed series True Blood, Da Vinci's Demons, and Salem. Means (Oglala Lakota, Omaha, Navajo) is known for his co-starring role in Tiger Eyes, and his recurring appearances on Banshee and The Night Shift. Queypo (Blackfeet, Native Hawaiian) can be seen in Slow West, a 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner. Non-native co-stars include Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), Ron Livingston (Band of Brothers) and Ray Stevenson (Rome).