Jason Momoa has finished filming The Last Manhunt, but the Western film won’t be riding out into theaters just yet. For now, we get to see some pictures of him trading his Aquaman suit for a cowboy hat in the first images from the movie courtesy of Deadline. The actor is looking gruff and grizzly as ever, ready to take on the Old West.
See Jason Momoa in The Last Manhunt below.
Jason Momoa plays Big Jim in The Last Manhunt, which is a Romeo and Juliet-inspired Native American love tale based on a true story of “the last great American manhunt of the old west,” as told by the Chemehuevi Tribe in Joshua Tree, California. He is not only a cowboy riding his horse alongside the cast, but he’s also serving as writer and executive producer.
Jason Momoa’s new movie takes place in the days of the Old West, 1909, to be exact. The movie sees Willie Boy fall in love with Carlota, the daughter of the Chemehuevi tribe leader. Unfortunately, Carlota’s father, who is also a shaman, vehemently forbids the relationship. During a confrontation, Willie Boy accidentally shoots the tribal leader and flees with Carlota to the scorching Mohave Desert. Their runaway prompts a local sheriff to gather two Native American trackers to capture Willie Boy and seek justice for the murdered Chemehuevi leader in the largest manhunt in American history — just before President Taft comes to town. This story has earned Willie Boy the nickname “Chemehuevi Desert Runner.”
The new Jason Momoa movie represents a largely Native American cast, with Martin Sensmeier playing the role of Willie Boy, Mainei Kinimaka as Carlota, Zahn McClarnon as Carlota’s father, and Lily Gladstone as Carlota’s mother, as well as Raoul Trujillo, Brandon Oakes, and Tantoo Cardinal, who starred in the notable 1996 Native American classic Dances with Wolves. Director Christian Camargo plays Sheriff Frank, a role he said was last played by Robert Redford in the 1969 film about Willie Boy but under a different title, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, which The Last Manhunt is a remake of.
The story of Willie Boy has been adapted into multiple books and films, including Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here and now The Last Manhunt being among the big-screen adaptations. Aquaman and Dune star Jason Momoa, whose roots lie in Native Hawaiian ancestry from his father’s side, said he became fascinated with the story of Willie Boy as he heard it while he was visiting Joshua Tree and called on fellow Indigenous writer Pa’a Sibbett to co-write the story with him and draft up the screenplay.
Filming and production started in September 2019 and took place in Banning, California, where Jason Momoa and Sibbett with the Morongo and the 29 Palms branch of the Chemehuevi tribe, who have some members that are direct descendants of the Willie Boy story. After consulting with them about the script and telling them production would cease if they didn’t feel comfortable with the story being produced into a film for any reason, tribal leaders agreed to allow The Last Manhunt to be made.
As of this writing, a release date for The Last Manhunt has not yet been announced.