Finally, Neither Wolf nor Dog, the Movie

Well, it appears that it is finally going to happen. Steven Simpson, the director who has put so much of his time and heart, as well as his aesthetic sense, into the shaping of this film, is preparing to shoot Neither Wolf nor Dog this fall.

The most exciting and fragile aspect of this project is the discovery of the perfect actor to play Dan. Steven and I anguished over this for many months, considering all options. But when we happened upon Dave Bald Eagle, we knew we had the perfect actor. He IS Dan, and Steven has developed a close friendship with him over the last year or two.

With the addition of John Trudell to play Grover, Steven has a dream core cast. John has the intelligence and edge to carry the character of Grover to an unexpected, incredibly dynamic place.

Steven’s connections in Indian country will allow him to fill out the cast brilliantly. And, as you will see if you look at his kickstarter page, he has a feel for the land that is absolutely essential to making this an authentic piece.

That is where so many Native films fall down: they use the land as a backdrop, not as a living force and character. Steven understands this.

I am thrilled to see him moving forward on this project that is so dear to my heart, and I ask any of you who love this book to go to his kickstarter page and contribute in any way you can. This could be a beautiful, groundbreaking film. Please help make it happen:

37 thoughts on “Finally, Neither Wolf nor Dog, the Movie”

  1. This is such exciting news. I can’t wait for the movie to be completed. I tried to go to the kickstarter page and I couldn’t get through. I’ll try again. Thank you, Kent, for this amazing story and what sounds like the perfect people to give it even more life!

  2. So glad that this important book is being put on film. Wishing everyone much success. Have made my small contribution at Kickstarter 🙂

  3. This is such good news! In this day and age where right is wrong and wrong is right, this is a victory for RIGHT!

    Regards and I’ll do as you say,

  4. Your link to the kickstarted page doesn’t work . .

    I’m a fan of your work and push it every chance iI get on my blog . . . the indigenous have the answers, and we must learn from them . . . but first we must begin to ‘see’ them differently 🙂

    Thanks for all you do, Kent!


  5. We just recently discovered your books and are so grateful for their authenticity and their love of the Lakota. How exciting to know that this film is forthcoming. Deep appreciation of native spirituality is so important to me as one who is a Christian educator and who has spent the last 43 summers in the beautiful Black Hills of SD.

  6. Dear Kent,
    Your book was given to me, I believe by an old friend R.D. Call,( or Roy,)when I found out, I was Native American, not Hawaiian. It moved me deeply. Thank you for your devotion and dedication to writing the truth. I am so full of excitement and so happy for you. I wish you all the best on this next journey in movie land!
    With much respect,
    Kathryn Young

  7. Karen Barbuscak

    I have always believed that books tell a story better than a movie can. However this book is so amazing I believe with the right actors and using Native land as a living force it is going to be beautifully done. I’m going to reread the story before the movie comes out, but I can’t wait to see it.

  8. Christa Stigter

    This is indeed exciting news. I can hardly wait to watch the film. I will certainly contribute.

    Take care and love from the Netherlands,

    Christa Stigter

  9. Leigh Ann McDonagh

    Wonderful and welcome news. If the thousands of people whose lives were touched – and forever changed – by this book, and the two that followed, each made a small contribution to the Kickstarter fund……together we could make this film come to life. It would be a gift of gratitude for all that Dan’s story has given to us.

  10. Finally this great book is going to be a movie. I can’t wait to see the result. I think Steven is a perfect choice. He can make it a non-commercial movie that will still be worth watching for a larger international public. The chosen actors including Christopher Sweeney as Kent should be able to do the job. I will spread the news and hope there will be many people to -financially- support this. I wish all the people who are involved in making this movie lots of success.

    A working link is:

  11. … clearly much thought, prayer and offered tobacco have gone into the development of this movie ~ Blessings and Thank you!

  12. Oh my gosh, I just finished this profound book tonight, and now I find out there is going to be a movie made!!!! How timely!!! And YES…kick starter here I come! Can’t wait for the movie!!!

  13. Am at the half way point on Neither Wolf nor Dog, have been spreading the word about your book, and the up coming film… trying to get more readers and donors. Will be reading your other books next, thanks for sharing the importance of listening, and just taking in the natural beauty of nature.

  14. Just finished Neither Wolf nor Dog, I will forever look at many things so differently now, my mind is full of Dan’s little talks. I have never wept so much while reading before.

    Thank you for sharing his words, oral history, and wisdom.

    Ever grateful,

  15. Thank you, Joyce. I hope you will pass the word along so that others can learn of Dan’s way of seeing the world. I also hope you will read the two follow-ups, The Wolf at Twilight and The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo. The former addresses the Indian boarding school experience, which is one of the most formative and least known of the experiences that has shaped the minds and hearts of contemporary Native people. The latter speaks to the issue of the deep spiritual truths of Native experience — truths that we non-Natives can only witness from the outside, but that we need to honor and respect if we are to ever understand the first peoples of this land.

  16. Hello Kent,
    Finished The wolf at Twilight a couple of day ago, I really loved what a sweet and tender ending that one had to it. Was feeling a little lost not having a book of yours to read right now,(and unsure of which one to buy next) thanks for telling me about The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo, so I will order it! I truly enjoy your style of writing, and have lent the first book to a friend of mine. I am in a relationship with a young man who is Mescal Apache & Spaniard, often times in the past his pace would frustrate the dickens out in off me, I am now able to look at what we have in a whole new light. Reading your books could not have come at a better time. It is so good to keep growing and learning.

  17. I am sooo thrilled that this book is going to become a movie. My whole outlook was changed because of it and I have given it to so many people so that they can become educated. Now the world will be. Bravo and thank you Kent.

  18. Nancy K.Cumnmins

    I’m enjoying this book; so much that I’m sending it to my sister for Christmas. Thank you for the insite to these people. My friend suggested it because she has been going to visit the Reservation in S. Decota and wants to work more with the people. My prayers are with you and them. nc

  19. How to ever reconcile what is/ has been. When will we learn to be human beings versus takers and killers.
    Mother Earth bats last/ always!
    What a read, crying, laughing, trying to comprehend
    Can’t wait for the movie
    Thank you Kent

  20. Neither Wolf Nor Dog is one of the most insightful & impactful novels I have had the opportunity to experience.
    It should be a required read for all high school seniors but especially for every politician. I am so thankful to Dan for sharing his insightful heart & soul with you. Excited would be an understatement to know that your book has been made into a movie. I very much look forward to seeing it as well as reading more of your books. I’m passing the word!!!!

  21. Thanks, Juli. I, too, think every American should read this book, and it is not because I am the author, but because we need to reassess our history and to see the truths that reside in the lives and ways of the people we tried to eradicate from this land. Neither Wolf nor Dog, and its successors, The Wolf at Twilight and The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo, are strong voices that can help in that reassessment and reeducation. I am always gratified when readers like you indicate that they will help pass the word. For me to request it seems self serving, but for you to offer it speaks volumes about the importance of the message those books contain. My thanks for your concern.

  22. I just finished reading Neither Wolf Nor Dog and what a read it was! I cannot imagine spending time with an elder and learning from him like you did…I really doubt that I could have done it. There are many lessons to be learned here. I am going to read the book again and again just in case I have missed something. I will be ordering your other books because this one knocked me for a loop. I can hardly wait for the movie! I think I will be sending copies of this one to my friends who like to read as a very special gift. I will be spreading the word!

  23. I literally just finished reading this book and as I read it I told myself this would make an amazing movie. I’m glad it will be and I can not wait to go see it. Thank you!

  24. natalir sunflower

    when i heard that this book was going to be made into a movie, the first thing i felt was John Trudell as Grover, and Gary Farmer as Jumbo. it just really hit me that JT was Grover. I am happy that this is being made and look forward to watching it when it come out this fall

  25. I will be posting very soon about the role of Grover. John Trudell was, indeed, slotted to play Grover, but other obligations got in the way. Sometimes, however, things happen for the best. Richard Ray Whitman turned the role in a completely different direction, and, given Chris’ interpretation of the Kent role, created an acting synergy that was amazing. As I said, more later.

  26. Dear Kent,
    I’ve heard about this film a few days ago and I would like to ask you, where I can get this film on dvd, because I would like to see it asap. I’ve learned Dave Bald Eagle in summer 2008 and it left a lasting impession to me.
    So pls can you help me, I’m from Austria and I don’t know, if this film will be presented in an austrian cineman.
    Many, many thanks in advance.

  27. Kent,

    Will you be attending the San Diego Film Festival for the showing of Neither Wolf Nor Dog? I’m so excited to see the film. I loved the book. For many reasons, I thank you for writing the book.


  28. I saw the movie today, and the two friends who were with me and who had not read the book, were both moved and disturbed by it, so that is good. As for me, I’m not a movie fan, I could appreciate it but didn’t really like it,and will continue to treasure and be grateful for the book! Movies just don’t make it with me!

  29. When is the movie coming out in the UK? I’ve been looking out for about a year, read the book, loved it.

  30. Dear Mr. Nerburn,

    I’ve read many parts of Neither Wolf Nor Dog, and I’m planning to read your book about Chief Joseph. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve learned from your work so far, but I wanted to ask you a couple of very important questions. From what I’ve read, you’ve had a close friendship with Dan, but he’s shown to be very bitter and unforgiving to white people in general primarily because of things that happened in the past that white people today are no longer guilty of. I learned from parts of The Wolf at Twilight that you were the only white man he trusted. It’s come to my understanding that Dan, and perhaps many other indigenous peoples of North America, don’t respect white people. I understand that you want us to learn from Dan and other Indian elders, and I agree we should learn from them, but why should we learn to respect Dan and embrace his wisdom if he never learned to respect white people and listen to the wisdom they could teach us? How can one be respectful for another if that other person doesn’t reciprocate such respect? It’s racist for whites to dislike Indians because they’re Indians, but it’s also racist if Indians hate whites because they’re whites. I ask because everybody in this country must learn to forgive and reconcile with one another in order to create a better world. Did Dan try to forgive or reconcile, or did he hold onto his hatred? I hope you can take the time to talk with me, and I hope you understand where I’m coming from.

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