The movie is based on the true story of one of America’s first female archaeologists, Ann Axtell Morris, who spent years uncovering civilizations in the southwest and Mexico. Axtell Morris was married to Earl Halstead Morris, who was a primary inspiration for Indiana Jones.
The film also stars David Midthunder (“Hostiles,” “Westworld”), alongside previously announced Abigail Lawrie (who plays Axtell Morris), Tom Felton (as Earl), Ewen Bremner, Bronson Webb, Elias Koteas and Val Kilmer.
“Canyon Del Muerto” is shooting on location across the southwest and the Yucatan thanks to special COVID-19 measures and safety protocols in place. It will also film in archaeological and cultural heritage sites throughout North America and Mexico in collaboration with the Navajo Nation, National Park Service and the government of Yucatan. The filmmakers say “the addition of Native American cast and the personal support of President Jonathan Nez of the Navajo Nation emphasizes the importance of telling the indigenous history of North America.” President Nez is also set to cameo in the film.
Voorhees and his brother John are producing under their A Visionary Film banner, with First Line Films and The Vladar Company. Julius Elwood and John Tsosie are the film’s cultural liaisons with the Navajo Nation.
Studi first appeared in “Dances With Wolves” and also played Magua in “The Last of the Mohicans.” Other films include “Heat,” “Avatar,” “Hostiles” and “Geronimo: An American Legend.”
Kilcher starred as Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in Terrence Malick’s “The New World.” She currently stars in Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone,” and appeared in TNT’s “The Alienist” and “Princess Kaiulani.”
Means currently stars in Netflix’s limited series “The Liberator” and “Once Upon a River.” Means previously starred alongside Mark Ruffalo in HBO’s limited series “I Know This Much Is True” and has appeared in series including “The Son” and “Saints & Strangers.”
Kilcher is represented by APA and Anonymous Content; Studi is repped by Domain Talent and Michael Black Management; Means is repped by Amsel, Eisenstadt, Frazier & Hinojosa Talent Agency and The O’Agency; and Midthunder is represented by Linda McAlister Talent, The O’Agency and Corner Booth Entertainment.
Chris Maher is co-executive producing and Roma Kong will co-produce along with Alberto Zeni and Omar Blanco. The film’s screenplay draws on Morris’ two novels, “Digging in Yucatan” and “Digging in the Southwest.”
Edmond and Glessna Coisson, Denny LaVia, Peter & Donna Rice Bahner, Perry Stamatis, John & Jean Savage, Charles & Nubia Benson, Mike & Jan Baum, Jake Chesney, Matt & Heather Hook, Charlie Zine, Andrew Carver, Linda & Erik Thomas, Jennifer Dutton, Mary Lou Chapa, Ed & Michael Garrett, Frank and Cherry Binetti, Daniel Nigg, Daniel Granik, Jim Cather, and Roger & Barbara Blomquist have also signed on as executive producers.