Wilma Mankiller, 1985 (AP)

'Walking Dead' Producer Sets Out to Tell Wilma Mankiller's Story


Writer and producer Gale Anne Hurd is known as the "First Lady of Sci Fi" for her work on highly successful films in the genre; now she's looking to tell the life story of Wilma Mankiller, first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Hurd's career began with The Terminator (1984), which she produced and co-wrote with then-husband James Cameron. Her list of production credits is long and familiar; it includes Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), Tremors (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991),  Armageddon (1998), The Punisher (2004), and The Incredible Hulk (2008). She is currently one of the executive producers of the AMC mega-hit series The Walking Dead, which started in 2010.

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A report at Fast Company describes Hurd's latest project: Mankiller, a documentary about the late Cherokee leader. Hurd seeks to balance out the cinematic portrait of American Indians that has been presented in films like Dances With Wolves and Windtalkers: "How many [big, mainstream] films have been about Native American women—and not just Native American women who helped white settlers or explorers to survive? Far too few."

The project reunites Hurd with Valerie Red Horse, with whom she worked on the Native-themed documentaries True Whispers (2002) and Choctaw Code Talkers (2010).

Mankiller is already halfway funded through Vison Maker Media, and Hurd is planning a Kickstarter campaign that is currently online as a draft.

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Juliet's picture
Submitted by Juliet on
I hope this comes through. We need more movies about contemporary Native Americans, especially the women.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I also hope this materializes. Native women are the backbone of our society and they're NEVER given airtime in modern movies. Ms. Mankiller's story is both tragic and inspirational and IF her travails can be brought to light, Native women everywhere can reap a sense of pride.