However, although Ford and Mirren are still starring, it appears the plot line has changed, as Taylor Sheridan and Paramount+ have announced the series will now be 1923, focusing on the Dutton family a few years after World War I, and the start of Prohibition.
According to Deadline,no other information about the new prequel was shared, except for the following statement:
“‘1923’ focuses on the Dutton family’s next two generations as they struggle to survive historic drought, lawlessness, and prohibition, and an epidemic of cattle theft; all battled beneath the cloud of Montana’s great depression, which preceded the nation by almost a decade.”
The series is slated to drop in December on Paramount+.
1923, of course, is just one of nine shows Sheridan has either already began, or is about to start working on, joining Mayor of Kingstown, Lioness, Tulsa King, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, Land Man, and of course Yellowstone. Not to mention there’s a Yellowstone 6666 project in the works.
You would think that it’s a little too far into production to completely shift the plot a decade earlier, but Sheridan has done more with less time before, so the expectations are still high as ever.
My initial thought is that the second chapter of Yellowstone prequels would feature Harrison Ford as one of the Dutton sons from 1883, either John or Spencer, and this doesn’t really change that.
This 1893 flashback from Yellowstone Season 4 has Spencer and John somewhere around the ages of 8 and 13 so you if we tack 30 years on there, we find our characters somewhere in their 40s or 50s.
The Dutton Family Tree
In that 1893 flashback from Yellowstone Season 4, we see that James has two sons with him, John and Spencer… Generation Two.
They should be in their fifties or so by the time 1932 rolls around and will have children of their own (Generation Three), and John and Spencer might even have young grandchildren (people got married pretty young back then), so that’s Generation Four.
Now, here’s where it get’s interesting… John Dutton (born sometime in the 1950s) of Yellowstone would be Generation Five, which means Kayce, Jamie (adopted), the late Lee Dutton, and Beth Dutton would all be Generation Six, and young Tate would be Generation 7.
And that’s exactly what Tim McGraw himself has confirmed.
According to CinemaBlend, Tim says he plays the great-great-grandfather of John Dutton in the bonus Blu-ray content:
“I play John Dutton’s great-great-grandfather. Our family is the first to discover Yellowstone and settle it. And in doing that, we are the first to really defend it and fight people off, and try to establish it and then survive.
J.D.’s the patriarch of the family. He’s the guy that had the balls, I guess, to set out and take his family across the country and head up to Montana, and sorta settle this unknown land, this untamed land up there, and turn it into something.”
Of course, which generation of Dutton has implications for the show because in the Season Finale of 1883, Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) is on the verge of death and her father, James Dutton (Tim McGraw) needs to find a place to bury her because wherever they bury her body is where the Dutton family is going to settle.
So Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder, recommends a spot called the Paradise Valley.
But, there’s a catch… the Duttons can’t have it forever.
“Yes, Paradise. Good name. But you know this: that in seven generations, my people will rise up and take it back from you.”
To which James says:
“In seven generations, you can have it.”
Doesn’t bode well for the Dutton family in Yellowstone Season 5, does it?
So all of that being said, who does Harrison Ford play?
My guess is that he plays a grown version of one of James Dutton’s sons. And I also think his grandson, AKA John Dutton’s father, will be in the series as well, perhaps as a very young boy (maybe even a baby) growing up in the Great Depression.
People got married and had kids young back then… most people in their 50s were grandparents, which is where I think Harrison Ford’s character will land. Maybe even early 60s.
That’s my guess, you heard it here first… but I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.