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Harrison Ford skipped Yellowstone before 1923.

by John Paul
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Harrison Ford, who plays Al Capone in 1923, said he studied 1883 but not Yellowstone for the role. A number of notable actors, including Helen Mirren, Timothy Dalton, and Harrison Ford, will appear in the planned Yellowstone prequel 1923. Forty years after the events of 1883, Ford and Mirren will play Jacob and Cara Dutton, a new, resolute generation of the Dutton family tasked with maintaining their homestead secure from danger. As the latest addition to the Yellowstone canon, Season 5 of the original series and Season 1 of its prequel, 1883, are likely to be referenced in Season 1923.

Ford tells Collider that he appreciates the effort that went into Yellowstone but that the modern plot doesn’t feel as connected to his role in the film’s 1923 setting. On the other hand, he confesses that in order to fully grasp how Sheridan’s neo-Western expanding world dealt with its spinoff and prequel plots, he watched the entire prequel 1883. Since 1883 takes place only 40 years after the events of the 1923 series and nearly a century before Yellowstone, Ford says it is a top priority in his research as he prepares to play Jacob. See what the actor had to say below.

“I’ve been working and busy, and I haven’t had much time to catch up, but I thought it more important that I see all of 1883, which I did because that is the closest time and story-wise of the developed Yellowstone elements. Yellowstone, which takes place in contemporary times… I love the work that Kevin’s doing, and I love the show, but 1883 was more important to me to concentrate on, and it was very useful in helping me understand the way they have been storytelling.”

How 1883 Contributed to Ford’s Preparation

Considering how the events of 1883 indirectly foreshadowed those of 1923, Ford’s remarks are largely accurate. As the initial teaser for 1923 featured the voice of Elsa (Isabel May), it was easy to see how the two prequels were connected. Another trailer for 1923 showed what appeared to be multiple graves on the Dutton family’s farm, most likely containing the protagonists’ bodies from the first prequel series.

Even though Yellowstone is set in 1923, nearly a century after 1883, the Dutton family’s events in 1883 (on their voyage to what would become their home) are nevertheless crucial to the film’s plot. Due to the hardships endured by the family on their journey to their Montana farm, the characters played by Ford and Mirren will likely exhibit a dogged determination to keep their land. This will be unlike anything seen in the previous Yellowstone films. The titles, structure, historical locales, and darker themes of 1923 and 1883 make the two prequels seem more closely related to one another than they do to Yellowstone.

Although the events of 1883 can shed light on those of 1923, the shows’ separation by more than a decade may provide insight into the Duttons’ lives beyond that year. Some familial riddles, such as whether or not a generation of Duttons went missing, persist in modern-day Yellowstone and might be explained by events that took place in 1923. In light of this, the new Yellowstone spinoff may provide closure to the question of how closely the prequel relates to the original series.



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