- During the course of the shoot, writer-director Taylor Sheridan was visited on set by some Shoshone tribal leaders who astonished him with the revelation that, at that very time, there were 12 unsolved murders of young women on a reservation of about 6,000 people. Due to a 1978 landmark government ruling (Oliphant v. Suquamish), the Supreme Court stripped tribes of the right to arrest and prosecute non-natives who commit crimes on native land. If neither victim nor perpetrator are native, a county or state officer must make the arrest. If the perpetrator is non-native and the victim an enrolled member, only a federally-certified agent has that right. If the opposite is true, a tribal officer can make the arrest, but the case must still go to federal court. This quagmire creates a jurisdictional nightmare by choking up the legal process on reservations to such a degree, many criminals go unpunished indefinitely for serious crimes.
- The film received a lengthy 8 minutes standing ovation at the end of its premiere in the Un Certain Regard competition of the Cannes film festival.
- Jane Banner: Shouldn't we wait for back up?
Ben: This isn't the land of waiting for back up. This is the land of you're on your own.
- Jane Banner: How far do you think someone can run barefoot out here?
Cory Lambert: Oh, I don't know. How to gauge someone's will to live? Especially in these conditions. But I knew that girl. She was a fighter. So no matter how far you think she ran... I can guarantee you she ran farther.
- Jane Banner: She ran six miles in the snow.
Cory Lambert: Yes, she did.
- Jane Banner: Give me your radio, My best chance out of here is helicopter. You don't have one of those, do you?
Cory Lambert: Nope.
Jane Banner: Give me your radio. Go get them.
Cory Lambert: I won't bring 'em back. You have to know that.
Jane Banner: I do.
- Cory Lambert: You could have called for that information, you know.
Jane Banner: I wanted to know why you were helping me. Now I do.
- Ben: I appreciate your passion, it's not the Feds usual response. But Randy is on our side.
Jane Banner: When my supervisor sees his report, he's gonna want me back in Vegas. Not that I'm much help or anything, but I'm all you've got.
- Jane Banner: What do you think?
Cory Lambert: I only know what the tracks say.
- Cory Lambert: The storm will be back.
Jane Banner: That's something to look forward to.
The film is the third installment of Taylor Sheridan's trilogy of "the modern-day American frontier". Principal photography on the film began on March 12, 2016 in Utah and lasted until April 25, 2016
Wind River premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States on August 4, 2017. The film received positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $45 million against an $11 million budget. The Weinstein Company acquired the distribution rights on May 13, 2016, during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. In January 2017, it was announced that the company would no longer distribute the film, but the distribution deal was later finalized. It had a limited release on August 4, 2017, before going wide on August 18. In October 2017, it was announced the film would be distributed on home media and streaming services through Lionsgate with the Weinstein Company name and logo omitted from the credits, trailer and packaging, because of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal. As a result, The Weinstein Company finally stopped distributing the film. All money Weinstein would have made was donated to charity.