Yellowstone's 1883 Prequel Already Struck Casting Gold With Sam Elliott And Two Country Music Megastars

While Yellowstone fans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Season 4, which is debuting later in the year than each of the previous seasons. On top of that anticipation, hype for the upcoming prequel spinoff 1883 can now quickly start to build up, as Paramount+ has revealed the very first cast members who will be telling the history of the Dutton family and ranch. Fans can look forward to seeing Hollywood legend Sam Elliott - one of the smartest casting choices possible in a franchise that already has Kevin Costner involved - as well as country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

While it would be too perfect if Sam Elliott was an ancestor within the Dutton family, he will actually portray the assuredly rugged cowboy Shea Brennan. Within 1883's storyline of Western expansion across this great land, Shea will be responsible for leading a group of settlers on a harsh journey across the heartland of the United States as they travel from Texas to Montana. And it sounds like his good looks and confident stride will be matched by an inability to put up with other people's shit. Wait, are we SURE he isn't a Dutton?

Sam Elliott praised Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan as "a brilliant writer" and talked about their shared connection to the western genre, saying he's "honored" to be part of 1883. He also says the new series will feature each of the classic struggles that man tends to face in stories like these. So don't expect this show to look like a game of The Oregon Trail.

Shea's group will include Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as James and Margaret Dutton, the earliest members of this hard-fighting family that Yellowstone fans will be introduced to, at least so far. (Additional casting will be announced as deals are confirmed, of course.) While Paramount+'s announcement doesn't describe McGraw and Hill as anything but the "patriarch and matriarch" of the Dutton family, McGraw's statement gives us a hint of a glimmer of what to expect.

This is truly a dream job. Taylor has found a way of storytelling that brilliantly creates these epic dramas and family sagas with so much depth and creativity. The Duttons are tremendous characters and it’s so thrilling to be able to bring them to life. As a kid growing up riding horses, you think about dream jobs like this and I am just so excited to work with this amazing cast and crew.

Meanwhile, Faith Hill called Margaret Dutton a "strong" female character, but that was kind of a no-brainer, considering any family lineage that led to Kelly Reilly's Beth Dutton has to be full of strong females. Considering Kevin Costner's band released an album last year that's inspired by Yellowstone and John Dutton, I think it's also a no-brainer to expect Hill and her hubby to produce some of the music for 1883.

While he was predominantly known for movies across a bulk of his career, Sam Elliott has become quite comfortable on television as well. (Where are my Justified fans at?) In recent years, he most notably headed up Netflix's sitcom The Ranch, and beyond taking over as the Quahog mayor on Family Guy in the wake of Adam West's death, Elliott will soon be a thorn in Will Forte's paw as the villain of the upcoming MacGruber TV series.

Outside of the massive financial success and awards acclaim that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have earned with their respective music careers, they definitely don't have the same prolific acting streak that Sam Elliott has. That said, McGraw has turned out some surprisingly solid performances in films such as Friday Night Lights, The Blind Side, and The Shack, and the same goes for Hill, albeit in fewer projects. Still, this will definitely be the couple's biggest acting roles to date, so the pressure is on!

Yellowstone's prequel 1883 doesn't yet have a premiere date lined up on Paramount+, as it's obviously still in the casting stages, but fans can probably expect to see it debut in 2022. In the meantime, be sure to keep track of everything premiering soon with our 2021 Fall TV schedule, and stay tuned for more info about the current-day spinoff 6666.

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.