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'1883': Billy Bob Thornton Joins Faith Hill and Tim McGraw for 'Yellowstone' Prequel

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There's a reason Yellowstone is such a popular series. Taylor Sheridan's western series following the Dutton family is incredibly captivating, led by an iconic cast including Kevin CostnerLuke Grimes, and Kelly ReillyYellowstone fans have been ecstatic since news of a prequel series was announced earlier this year. A teaser debuted during the Super Bowl so we've had months to speculate on what it would entail and who would be involved. Here's everything we know so far!

Premiere Date

The new series is scheduled to premiere on Sunday, December 19. According to a press release from the Paramount Network, Yellowstone season 4's November premiere will serve as a launching pad for this new show...maybe we'll get an early sneak peek?

Y: 1883

The new Paramount Network series will be titled Y: 1883 and will follow the Dutton family's origin story when they first travel across the Great Plains to settle down in Montana. According to a press release, the new show will be "a stark retelling of Western expansion" and the Dutton's settling down in an untouched area of America.

David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios addressed the new series in a statement and praised showrunner and creator Taylor Sheridan's storytelling ability. Sheridan, a Golden Globe nominee, received an overall deal to extend his partnership with MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios.

Read More: 'Yellowstone': Series Creator and Actor Taylor Sheridan Grew Up on a Family Ranch in Texas

"Taylor Sheridan is a master at world-building and has a singular voice that makes him one of today's standout creators making must-watch content. Our mission at 101 is to produce content that provokes culture conversations with renowned creators at the helm of our projects, and that is exactly what we envision for this collaboration. This deal is an extension of our longstanding relationship with both ViacomCBS, MTV Entertainment Group and Taylor and we are very much looking forward to our future projects."

Location

According to a recent press release, filming is currently taking place in Fort Worth, Texas!

The Cast

Considering the original procedural series created by Sheridan and co-creator John Linson is the biggest show on Paramount with record-breaking total viewers each season, we feel confident that the Yellowstone prequel series will be equally captivating. The news of the confirmed cast members has us convinced that the new spinoff is going to be absolutely incredible.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have signed on to play James and Margaret Dutton, the patriarch and matriarch of the Dutton clan who travel out to settle down in Montana.

"This is truly a dream job," said McGraw in a statement. "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," added Hill. "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."

McGraw even took to Instagram to announce the exciting casting news, confirming that the reason he's been growing out his beard is for this new role.

Billy Bob Thornton

Surprise! It looks like Bill Bob Thornton will also be joining the cast of 1883! The news of Thornton's casting marks an epic reunion between McGraw and the Goliath star. Deadline reported that Thornton will appear on the Paramount + Yellowstone prequel in a guest role of Marshal Jim Courtright alongside Hill and McGraw. The duo is set to star as James and Margaret Dutton, who are the patriarch of the Dutton family. The country singers will portray the great-grandparents of Kevin Costner's character, John Dutton, who own the lagers cattle ranch in the US.

McGraw and Thornton previously started together in the 2004 film Friday Night Lights.

Sam Elliott

As if that wasn't exciting enough, Sam Elliott has also signed on. (Based on his Instagram video above, Tim is equally excited about this casting). He will be playing Shea Brennan, a cowboy who leads a group of settlers from Texas to Montana.

"It all starts with the writing, and Taylor Sheridan is a brilliant writer," said Elliott. "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."

Based on a recent Instagram post from Taylor Sheridan's wife, Elliott is already in character. He's grown his hair out and we really couldn't be more excited to see him on the new TV show.

Isabel May

A recent press release revealed that Isabel May will be taking on the role of James and Margaret Dutton's eldest daughter, Elsa. May is best known for her roles on the Netflix series Alexa and Kate as well as the feature film Run Hide Fight.

LaMonica Garrett

LaMonica Garrett will be playing Thomas, the right hand of Sam Elliott's character who is a Pinkerton agent. Garrett is best known for appearing in the Amazon film The Terminal List as well as the TV series Delilah.

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This article was originally published on February 5, 2021. It was updated on September 10, 2021, after Deadline announced Billy Bob Thornton's character.

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'1883': Billy Bob Thornton Joins Faith Hill and Tim McGraw for 'Yellowstone' Prequel