Yellowstone Prequel 1883 Adds Billy Bob Thornton to the Cast

As Yellowstone gears up for the release of its fourth season, a prequel series titled 1883 is currently in production for Paramount+. The show is set to star Sam Elliott as well as country music stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and "follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America." The show is described as "a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America's promised land — Montana." This week, Variety reported that Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton will also be joining the cast. 

1883 comes from Yellowstone creator, Taylor Sheridan, as part of his overall deal with the studio. McGraw and Hill will take on the roles of James and Margaret Dutton, ancestors of Kevin Costner's John Dutton from Yellowstone, who were the leaders of the Dutton family in the post-Civil War era. Variety reports that Thornton will appear in the guest star role of Marshal Jim Courtright. As for Eilliot, the iconic actor is expected to play the part of Shea Brennan, described as "a tough cowboy with immense sadness in his past" who "has the herculean task of guiding a group from Texas to Montana, and he does not suffer fools." 

"It all starts with the writing, and Taylor Sheridan is a brilliant writer," Elliott in a statement. "I think the western genre speaks clearly to both of us. The classic struggles of man against man, man against nature, and man against himself. It's all there, in 1883, and I'm honored to be a part of it." 

"This is truly a dream job," McGraw shared. "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."

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Hill added. "The Duttons are a formidable family and it is an absolute dream to bring such a strong female character like Margaret Dutton to life. I am humbled and honored to work with Taylor and his entire team."

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1883 is set to premiere on Paramount+ on December 19th. The fourth season of Yellowstone will return with a special two-hour premiere on Sunday, November 7th, exclusively on Paramount Network.