Creator Taylor Sheridan's vision for the Yellowstone prequel, set in 1923, is beginning to take shape as the series enters its second half. In an exclusive video with The Hollywood Reporter, Sheridan explains why he chose this specific year to explore the Dutton family lineage. He wanted to show the children viewers met in 1883, like young John and Elsa, attempting to raise another generation of Duttons.
Additionally, 1923 serves as the backdrop of a time of great drought, Prohibition, and significant expansion in the Wild West. The third episode of 1923 introduced two new characters played by Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, who portray Yellowstone elders Jacob and Cara Dutton. The episode also revealed a tragic event: the death of John Dutton Sr., played by James Badge Dale. John Sr. was targeted in a gunfight and killed, along with other members of the Dutton family, during an ambush led by Banner Creighton and his men.
This attack sets off a series of events that will unfold in the midseason finale on January 8. The midseason finale will see Jacob's injury being kept a secret as Cara takes his place at a town hall meeting. Jack and the ranch hands prepare for a battle, while Spencer, who has been in South Africa, finally receives a letter from Cara asking him to return home to defend the family and the ranch. Actor James Badge Dale describes the first half of the season as a prologue, with the real story starting now.
The first scene of the series showed Cara killing a man with a shotgun and screaming into the wilderness. This scene was later revealed to be a flash-forward to her response after the gun battle that resulted in John Sr.'s death. The show also provided narration from Elsa, who explained the family's history and how Jacob became the caretaker for John Sr. and Spencer after their parents died in 1883. With John Sr.'s death, the focus of the series will shift to Spencer and his role in taking over the ranch. Jack, who has already shown his willingness to help, will also play a significant role. The cast members describe the show as a love story and an epic adventure.
They also discuss the grand journey back to Montana, where the Dutton family's core exists. Helen Mirren teases that the upcoming episodes will focus on survival during a time of significant change in America. She compares the pressure building up to a dam about to break. Harrison Ford emphasizes the importance of doing things right, as the Duttons still face threats and challenges. He mentions that the story spans across the world and promises that everything will come together at the appropriate time.
Overall, the cast is excited about the continuation of the series, which has already been renewed for a second season. Viewers can expect a thrilling and awe-inspiring story as the second half of the season unfolds. The Yellowstone prequel, titled 1923, will return on February 5th on Paramount+.