Harrison Ford Goes Full Dutton Cowboy In First Footage From Yellowstone Prequel 1923

Jacob and Cara Dutton hugging on fence in 1923
(Image credit: Paramount+)

The future of the Yellowstone universe is looking as bright and promising as anything else on TV, even though the majority of it will be spent in the past. Taylor Sheridan’s next chapter in the Dutton family’s history will be told through 1923, with a stellar cast led by the A-list duo of Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as the respective patriarch and matriarch Jacob and Cara. Now, just over a month away from the prequel spinoff’s debut, Paramount+ has at last delivered our first big look at this densely populated take on a destiny being manifested. 

Paramount wisely chose to go public with 1923’s first teaser trailer in the middle of Yellowstone’s extended Season 5 premiere, where it would no doubt draw the biggest gathering of eyeballs. But that’s enough talk, as it’s time to check out Harrison Ford in full western mode, which is a vibe that works way better than I expected. 

As it goes with teasers of this variety, 1923's first look is much more of a mood-setter than a full indicator of what viewers can expect to see, or who they'll see doing it. But I think it was indeed successful at conveying a mood anchored by rampant stress, danger, bloodshed, aggression, and fleeting moments of joy. Par for the course for Sheridan’s characters, to be sure, and we already know we’ll be getting at least two eight-episode seasons of this narrative.

Just as it went with 1883’s origin story for James, Claire, Elsa, and John Sr., narration plays an impactful role in the promo, making it clear that just because the Duttons may have found their slice of heaven in Montana, that doesn’t mean they haven’t had to fight tooth and nail against all manner of threats to maintain that ownership. It’s a struggle that continues up through the present day, and the 1923 narrator’s words could be just as much referring to Beth Dutton as anyone from this timeline. 

Violence has always haunted this family. It followed us from the Scottish highlands, the slums of Dublin, and it followed us here. Where it doesn’t follow, we hunt it down. We seek it.

The video, understandably, couldn’t have possibly showcased the large ensemble that Taylore Sheridan & Co. pulled together for 1923, with a cast that also includes Terminator 2 vet Robert Patrick, 24 and Hightown’s James Badge Dale, Tony winner Jennifer Elhe, Vampire Diaries’ Sebastian Roché, former James Bond Timothy Dalton and more. But since most of the others don’t get much screentime, we might as well talk more about Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in all their full western glory.

Jacob Dutton next to horse in 1923

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Admittedly, I can’t help but partly think Ford looks as if he lost a bet and had to pose for old-timey photography somewhere tourist-friendly. He isn’t so naturally embraced by the look the way that Kevin Costner is, for example, but then few are, so I can’t exactly knock him for that. At 80, Ford likely won’t factor into tons of stunt-heavy sequences, but the trailer does make it clear Jacob Dutton won’t just be barking orders from a metaphorical throne as the king of this castle. And I have to think that Ford’s dryness will work splendidly within this universe, along with his surliest sneers.

Cara Dutton in blue dress in 1923

(Image credit: Paramount+)

I could cheekily poke fun at Harrison Ford all day — even as I cannot wait for Jacob Dutton to become another one of his most iconic roles — but no such fun can be had when approaching Helen Mirren’s Cara. Because come on, the Oscar winner is a living legend with myriad A+ performances across a career that has leaned quite heavily into portraying members of the British royal family. As such, she’s perfectly suited to take on the crown for an American dynasty like the Duttons. (The fact that she and Kelly Reilly are both Brits feels like a purposeful connection in my book.)

1923’s series premiere will be available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription when it debuts on Sunday, December 18, where it will presumably air across some of the gap between the two halves of Yellowstone Season 5. Head to our 2023 TV premiere schedule to see what else is heading to the small screen heading into the new year. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.