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Chickasaw Nation Productions announces diverse cast for “The Chickasaw Rancher”

Release Date: May 31, 2017

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Martin Sensmeier, who landed a starring role alongside Denzel Washington in “The Magnificent Seven,” will play the lead role of Montford Johnson in “The Chickasaw Rancher.”

This new movie by Chickasaw Nation Poductions also features Tommy Flanagan from “Sons of Anarchy” and Dermot Mulroney, known for his role opposite Julia Roberts in “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” in a diverse ensemble cast.

A project of Chickasaw Nation Productions, “The Chickasaw Rancher” is inspired by the life of Chickasaw rancher Montford Johnson. Orphaned at a young age, Johnson survived great hardships and tragedy to establish a vast ranching empire along the famous cattle highway of the American West, the Chisholm Trail.

Martin Sensmeier, who portrayed Red Harvest in “The Magnificent Seven,” will play the lead role of renowned Oklahoma cattleman Montford Johnson. Raised in the Tlingit Coastal Community in Alaska, Sensmeier grew up learning and participating in the traditions of his tribes, the Tlingit and Koyukon-Athabascan. He is also an ambassador for The Native Wellness Institute and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Dermot Mulroney is cast as Montford Johnson’s estranged father Boggy Johnson. Since being discovered at Northwestern University 28 years ago, Mulroney has appeared in more than 70 films, including “Young Guns,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “August: Osage County,” for which he and his fellow cast members were nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Tommy Flanagan will bring the character Holden to the screen. Flanagan’s lengthy film and television credits include “Sons of Anarchy,” “Gladiator” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”

James Landry Hébert is cast as Lt. Richter. Hebert is known for his work on “Gangster Squad,” “Looper” and “Seven Psychopaths.” He also has reoccurring roles on the television series “Taken” and “Westworld.”        

Tatanka Means, an award-winning Native American actor who represents the Oglala Lakota, Omaha and Navajo tribes, has been cast as Rising Wolf. Means’ movie credits include “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “Tiger Eyes.”

“The Chickasaw Rancher” will have more than 10 Native American tribes represented in speaking roles. Citizens of the Chickasaw Nation and Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, among others, will also appear in pivotal roles.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said film production is part of the Chickasaw Nation’s effort to tell the true story of Native Americans, such as Montford Johnson, a Chickasaw orphan who grew up to develop a vast ranching empire along the Chisholm Trail in the late 1800s.

“Montford Johnson’s life story helps illustrate the important role Chickasaw people have played in shaping American history and culture,” Governor Anoatubby said. “We are pleased we have such a diverse group of actors involved in telling the story of Montford Johnson’s remarkable legacy of entrepreneurialism, altruism and diplomacy.”

“The Chickasaw Rancher” is directed by Nathan Frankowski and produced by Paul Sirmons. Frankowski and Sirmons previous credits include “Te Ata," which was also produced by Chickasaw Productions.

Filming on “The Chickasaw Rancher” will take place in Oklahoma and Florida.

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