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The Yellowstone Universe Has Added Harrison Ford And Helen Mirren As New Prequel Details Are Revealed

indiana jones and the good liar
(Image credit: Screenshots)

Holy moley, Han Solo is joining the Yellowstone universe! Okay, so things aren’t quite so over the top, but it is very legitimate news that Harrison Ford himself will be joined by the Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren for Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming streaming drama 1932. That’s still a working title, but with Ford and Mirren heading up this cast, it could be called Bippity Boopity and everybody with a Paramount+ subscription would still turn out in droves.

As a distant non-sequel follow-up to 1883, which boasted Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as the spearheaders of the Dutton’s Paradise Valley ranch at the heart of Yellowstone, the 1932 prequel will introduce fans to a wholly new generation within this drama-fueled family tree. Interestingly enough, the announcement from Paramount+ did not divulge the character names for either Harrison Ford or Helen Mirren’s characters, which plays into the idea that viewers haven’t ever heard of these ancestors yet. It’s a detail that McGraw himself talked about in the Yellowstone Season 4 DVD release, although it was unclear how legitimate that was at the time.

That said, the math kind of falls all over the place once one tries to match up Harrison Ford's specific age (79) with the year 1932, since that would mean the character he's playing would have been in his 30s or so when 1883 took place. It's feasible that Ford could be playing James Dutton, but that would mean the presumed death scene shown in Yellowstone's Season 4 flashback wasn't what we thought. Which is fine by me. But the point really is that Ford almost necessarily cannot be playing either John Dutton Sr. or Spencer Dutton, and obviously Helen Mirren won't be playing Elsa Dutton, given how the season ended.

While fans have had a notion of what to expect from 1932, based mostly on what 1883 delivered in terms of time-specific details, the new announcement also dropped some specific references with its general synopsis, as seen below:

The next Yellowstone origin story will introduce a new generation of the Dutton family and explore the early twentieth century when pandemics, historic drought, the end of Prohibition, and the Great Depression all plague the mountain west, and the Duttons who call it home.

If that synopsis mentioned it, you can bet it’ll affect the Dutton family in some way, so expect to see the ranch deal with deaths from pandemics and other widespread illnesses. Those will probably be spurred along by droughts making water as much of a protectable resource as the ranch’s land. Mix that in with the financial instability of the Great Depression, and Taylor Sheridan should be able to make 1932 a pretty specific reflection of the current state of the U.S., just set 90 years ago. Maybe the fall of Prohibition can even tie into the rise in marijuana legalization. 

Harrison Ford interestingly only just recently signed on for his first starring role on the small screen, as he’s set to star in the Apple TV+ project Shrinking, as created by Jason Segel and Ted Lasso’s Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein. On the flip side, Helen Mirren is no stranger to TV, thanks in part to her long-lasting ties to Prime Suspect’s Jane Tennison, as well as miniseries where she portrayed Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great. They’ll both bring the excellence no matter what, especially with Taylor Sheridan penning the scripts.

Yellowstone Season 5 just went into production this week, so fans can expect to see that later this year at some point, possibly with Jefferson White's 6666 spinoff dropping on Paramount+ (opens in new tab) before then. 

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

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.