WGN America has rounded out its lead cast for drama pilot Scalped, which begins production next month, in Santa Fe, NM.

Gil Birmingham (Hell or High Water, Twilight films), Irene Bedard (The New World, Smoke Signals) and Chaske Spence (Sneaky Pete, Banshee) join previously announced Alex Meraz and Lily Gladstone in the project, which features a predominantly Native American cast.

WGN America

Written by Doug Jung (Banshee) based on the DC graphic novel series written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by R.M. Guéra, Scalped is a modern-day crime story set in the world of a Native American reservation. The hourlong drama explores power, loyalty and spirituality in a community led by the ambitious Chief Lincoln Red Crow (Birmingham) as he reckons with Dashiell Bad Horse (Meraz), who has returned home after years away from the reservation. The Native American casting is the first for a television series in recent history. Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah will direct. Warner Horizon Scripted Television produces.

Birmingham’s Chief Lincoln Red Crow is the controversial Chief of the Prairie Rose Reservation. Formerly an idealistic activist, Red Crow orchestrates the opening of the casino on the “Rez,” believing it to be the key to his tribe’s future and redemption for his own dark past. But the casino proves to be a Pandora’s box, with Red Crow struggling to keep it the Rez’s salvation and not its demise.

Bedard is Gina Bad Horse, a legendary activist and the public face of opposition to Red Crow and his casino. Her efforts and ways of helping her people stand in stark opposition to Red Crow, despite their intimate and secretive past together. In the face of Red Crow’s success with the casino, Gina begins to realize that defeating him requires adopting his dark tactics.

Spencer will portray Sheriff Falls Down. The local sheriff with a deep investment in the Rez and its people, his wry easy manner obscures an edge and keen intelligence. There is no love lost between Sheriff Falls Down and Chief Red Crow — but there is a mutual respect.

Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo (Mekko) will serve as a producer and joins executive producer Len Goldstein (Powerless, Roadies) on the creative team led by executive producer/writer Jung (Star Trek Beyond, Big Love).

Spencer recently wrapped a lead in feature Woman Walks Ahead opposite Jessica Chastain and a recurring role on Amazon’s Sneaky Pete. He’s repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Michael Mahan at Peikoff Mahan.