Yellowstone Prequel 1923 Just Cast Another Big Dutton Connection To The 1883 Timeline

James at fort in 1883
(Image credit: Paramount+)

We’re mere months away from the Yellowstone franchise expanding anew, as the fifth season of the mothership neo-western is dropping in mid-November, followed by the December arrival of the prequel drama 1923. The drama is in the midst of filming, and only recently announced a slew of new cast members joining spinoff leads Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. And now, another casting report has revealed one of the final missing pieces of the Dutton ancestral puzzle, and it ties back to the post-1883 years.

Actor Brandon Sklenar, has joined the 1923 cast in the role of Spencer Dutton, the second son of James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill), according to Deadline. This will be the first time fans get to see the character, who’ll be the nephew of Ford’s Jacob Dutton, as a full-grown adult, having only previously witnessed him as a younger child.

To be sure, Spencer Dutton wasn’t a part of the 1883 series itself, as it took place before he was born. Rather, he was introduced via Yellowstone first Season 4 flashback, which technically aired before 1883 hit Paramount+. As portrayed by Charlie Stover in both that and the follow-up flashback later in the season, Spencer Dutton is the younger brother of John Sr., who’ll be portrayed in adult form by James Badge Dale for 1923, and Elsa, who was played with grace by Isabel May, though she obviously won’t be back for more

While we don’t know too much about Spencer Dutton just yet, one important element noted is that he’s a World War I vet who apparently came out of it with some horrific memories. That trauma-stricken headspace speaks to other characters within this franchise, such as Sam Elliott’s Shea Brennan and LaMonica Garrett’s Thomas in 1883, as well as Dave Annable’s Lee and Luke Grimes’ Kayce in Yellowstone.

Joe in Glass Jaw

(Image credit: Eleven Seven Productions)

The role of Spencer Dutton could easily turn out to be the biggest one yet for actor Brandan Sklenar, assuming 1927 comes anywhere close to following in the high-viewership footsteps of its predecessors. He’d previously been part of projects such as the Matt Smith-starring biopic Mapplethorpe, and was most recently seen in episodes of Westworld Season 4 and Paramount+’s The Offer limited series.

The actor actually has another throwback western role on the way, as Brandon Sklenar will also pop up in the pilot for The CW’s prequel Walker: Independence. Beyond that, he’ll star in the upcoming drama God Loves the Green Bay Packers

Everyone with a Paramount+ subscription can look forward to seeing the Dutton family expanding in huge ways when 1923 debuts in December. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning projects will be hitting the small screen in the coming months.  

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.