Dark Winds: Is Colton Wolf Based on a Real Person?

The second season of AMC+’s ‘Dark Winds‘ brings back the trio of Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee, and Bernadette Manuelito, who have to solve another case that has severe implications for their community. It begins with an explosion that kills a man who only had two more months to live because he had cancer. While Leaphorn tries to untangle the mystery of why someone would want to kill a man who was already dying, Chee is hired by Mrs. Vines to find a box that was stolen from her house. She believes the culprit is a Navajo who was involved with a cult called People of Darkness.

Their investigation leads Chee and Leaphorn to cross paths, and they find themselves chasing the same man, Colton Wolf. He is a ruthless murderer who goes on a killing spree that shakes the community. He also seems to be the key to solving another mystery that happened years ago. The character is menacing, and his viciousness makes one wonder if he is based on a real person. Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD

Colton Wolf is Fictional

‘Dark Winds’ is based on the book series written by Tong Hillerman. The second season adapts the book, ‘People of Darkness,’ which was published in 1980 and features the character of an assassin named Colton Wolf. The character is brought on screen by actor Nicholas Logan.

While Colton was born out of Hillerman’s mind and is fictional, Logan saw him as a real person he could embody. Talking about what he saw in Colton and how he is important to the season’s storyline, Logan said: “[Colton] is a lone wolf. And I think a lot of what the character represents is how warped and ugly things can get when you go down a life path and you make certain choices that you can’t take back, which is then, I think, the test for Zahn’s [McClarnon] character, Joe Leaphorn, are you willing to walk down a similar road?”

To prepare for the role, Logan read the book and found “the ability to embrace how strange Colton really is.” However, the actor also knew that the show presents its own version of the story, taking liberties with the story and the character, which gave him “the freedom to take it where it felt most honest in each moment, in each scene.” “I was wanting to embody and physicalize and experience, exploring that well of darkness based off his history and who he is and the kind of quandaries he’s trying to unravel within himself or not, it just allowed me to just fall down a rabbit hole,” he said.

In real life, Logan said he is very different from Colton. He is a really happy guy, which is why he enjoyed the challenge of getting into Colton’s “complicated psyche.” Whenever he stepped on the set, he would get into the zone and stay distant from the rest of the crew. He said he felt the character “come into his arms,” which allowed him to sink into the story and become Colton. Despite playing Colton so well for the entirety of the season, Logan confessed that he only got to scratch the surface.

He further added: “I believe [Colton] represents and embodies the warped nature of the bigotry, the history of violence, and just the unfair treatment that has been bestowed upon native peoples and the history of this country.” Considering all the effort that the writers and the actor put into bringing Colton Wolf on the screen, we can say that even though he is fictional, he has been created and played with a very specific vision that, despite his villainy, roots him in reality.

Read More: Where is Dark Winds Filmed?