As a huge fan of Talyor Sheridan’s Yellowstone series, I couldn’t be more excited about the prequel series that he’s developing titled 1883.
This series stars Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill. The story for this series follows “the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. It is 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.”
We now have some fascinating new details to share with you including some additional cast members who have joined the show, which just started production in Fort Worth, TX. New cast members include Isabel May (Alexa and Katie) who’ll play Elsa, the eldest daughter of John and Margaret Dutton, played by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. It’s explained, “Through her eyes will come much of the perspective of the family’s struggle when they up and leave Texas aboard a wagon train caravan into hostile territory toward a better life in Montana, where the fictional Duttons reside in the present.”
LaMonica Garrett (The Terminal List) will play the right hand of Pinkerton agent Shea Brennan (Elliott), “who hitches a ride with the Duttons and many others who’ll fill the 30 actual wagon trains built for this epic-sized adventure series.”
It’s said that this series will cost more than what is being spent on the current flagship series Yellowstone and executive producer David Glasser said that it has the “ambitious spirit of past period frontier classics Lonesome Dove, Last of the Mohicans and Dances With Wolves.” When talking about Sheridan, who wrote all 10 of Season 1’s episodes and is directing the pilot, Glasser added:
“When Taylor creates, in his mind he can take you down a rabbit hole with 15 layers deep on the lineage of a story, something I’ve never seen another creator do. Ask him a question about a character, he’ll take you back 10 or 30 years. That’s what happened here with 1883. Taylor was thinking about the story of the Duttons and their journey. He’s played with flashbacks before on Yellowstone, like with Rip (Cole Hauser) as a young boy. Most of his characters had flashbacks because that is how Taylor thinks. If you had a conversation with him on set about it, long before he came up with this idea, he would tell you the Dutton story, and you would be mesmerized enough to say, ‘Well why are we not making that?’ We’re sitting here making this incredible television show in Yellowstone, but what you’re telling me is absolutely magic. It seemed organic for him to sit down and start at the beginning.”
Glaser went on to talk about what makes the 1883 story so beautiful saying:
“[Taylor] created this show about this amazing family, and now it just seemed natural and organic to start with the Duttons as they made their journey across America. What’s beautiful about the story is, it’s a time we’ve forgotten, what a family would do to find a place to settle, and the risks and trials and tribulations of what people went through. These are real struggles, about people dying along the way, in search of a better future for their families. The core of the story is always family, and you see the innocent perspective of the daughter Elsa, and through Faith’s eyes, and through the eyes of the father, played by Tim, and this incredible character Shea, played by Sam Elliott. He’s seen it all and might be on his last journey. There is something that happens that explains each character’s reason for leaving to build a new life. The world Taylor has created is magic.”
When it comes to the Native Americans who will be portrayed in the series, it’s explained that Sheridan “has a team of advisers on board from previous projects to make sure things are accurate, and there are meticulous details down to the languages that would have been spoken at that time by the tribes the Duttons would have encountered en route from Texas to Montana in the 1880s.”
When talking about the epicness of what they are doing, Glasser said, “They came to Taylor early on, and described how they wanted to build the streaming service by putting some incredible content on the air, and Taylor said, ‘I have it. I want to do the prequel to the Duttons but this is going to be a big epic huge show.’ They didn’t blink.” He added:
“Taylor is shooting this with 30 wagon trains, going across America. The Duttons travel with other families, and pick up other groups along the way. It’s like a moving city. Taylor didn’t want to do it CGI, where you could have built 10 wagon trains and with the world we’re living in today, you could have added 20. We’re taking 30 wagon trains across America, and he’s re-created everything. We are shooting in Dallas, Forth Worth. We’ve built an entire 1800s town in the stockyards of Forth Worth. We’re shooting in Palestine and Guthrie, Texas, and then eventually we get to Montana, to the Dutton ranch by the end of Season 1. There’s nothing that exists we could use for this. There are no buildings. We’re building an entire city of downtown Fort Worth, with all the hustle and bustle. Every piece of wardrobe, guns, even saddles weren’t what they are today. Everything had to be built, top to bottom. Viacom stepped up when Taylor said, ‘Look, this is not going to be an easy or inexpensive show to make. This is going to be epic and huge and I want to tell it in the scope as if I were making a 10-hour movie.’ “
Well, shit… I can’t wait to watch this series! This is super exciting to me and there’s no doubt that Sheridan is going to deliver something amazingly epic with 1883!
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