Although we’ve known about this 1923spinoff series for Yellowstonefor quite some time now, there’s still very little detail about what we can expect before the December 18th premiere.
We know that the show has a star studded cast, with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren leading the charge as Jacob and Cara Dutton in a time that features the end of Prohibition, the beginning of the Great Depression, the emergence of deadly illness, and the construction of the modern-day Dutton Ranch.
James and Margaret Dutton are out of the picture, but their children and grandchildren are carrying their legacy, led by James’ brother Jacob, and his wife Cara, who we now learn is an Irish immigrant.
Mirren lobbied for an Irish ancestry for Cara, according to a new interview with Vanity Fair:
“I see Cara as an immigrant. One of the things I very strongly wanted was that she would speak with an Irish accent, not with an American accent.
It’s always slightly annoyed me with Westerns that you have all these people speaking with modern American accents when in fact so many of them were fairly recent immigrants.
The big Irish immigration to America, because of the potato famine, was in the late 19th century. That absolutely chronologically works for Cara. She’s now in her late 60s, we imagine. So she would’ve come, I think, as a young woman from Ireland.
I think that’s one of the extraordinary elements of America. The people who arrived, and are still arriving, are people with enormous resilience and enormous courage and independence.”
As for Ford’s character Jacob Dutton, he’s the leader of the family now:
“He’s the silverback. He’s responsible for that branch of the family.
These are two people with a very strong bond to each other who are facing really complicated circumstances.”
Ford also noted that Jacob and Cara’s marriage has spanned four decades up to this point, and at this point in their marriage, they are each other’s everything:
Their lives are totally wrapped up in each other. There’s very little that sustains them other than themselves and the hard work and investment they put into their future and their family.
It is a tough life, and it’s full of not just physical challenges but moral ones as well.”
Ford also added that we can expect the same ruthlessness that we see from the Dutton’s in Yellowstone now, that stems from the family’s brutal trek out west in 1883:
“You’re very close to the bone here. The story is told in a very honest and straightforward way. There’s no apology for what becomes necessary to do. There’s a very strong moral context that’s… frangible.
The Duttons live by a code of behavior that they set for themselves and it requires complicated moral and ethical judgment. It’s not just the physical life that’s hard.
The challenges that they face from modernity, the challenges to their way of life, to their freedom and the opportunities that they’ve enjoyed, is a big part of the story. The upcoming Depression and all of the pressures, economic and social, are leading up to this very volatile time in American history.”
But at the end of the day, they all know that everything could be over in a second, everything they’ve worked so hard for. They may have land and they may have some status as early settlers to the region, but make no mistake… these Duttons are not rich.
“They can lose it all in a season. They’re up against weather, the economy, the influx of railroads, and the change in the cattle business. It’s a complicated time. It’s a volatile time. They are land-rich, but they are cash-poor because everything is put back into the business, into the ranch.
Everything is hard fought for. I don’t think of them as rich. I think of them as having a degree of power based on their historical presence in the area based on hard work.”
And in conclusion, Ford said that the show is a testament to the stark development of the country during one of its most trying times:
“A lot of America seems to be, in my mind, unfinished business. This is a story about the development of the country, and the nature and personality of this country is very much a product of the circumstances of this period of time.”
Can December 18th get here fast enough?
The 1923 Cast
The Dutton Family:
Harrison Ford will play Jacob Dutton, the brother of Tim McGraw’s1883character Jacob Dutton.
Helen Mirren takes the role of Cara Dutton, Jacob’s wife.
James Badge Dale will play John Dutton Sr., the oldest nephew and right-hand man of Jacob. He’s the son of James Dutton (Tim McGraw) and the great grandfather of John Dutton (Kevin Costner).
Marley Shelton will play Emma Dutton, the wife of John Dutton Sr. and the mother of Jack Dutton.
Darren Mann will play Jack Dutton, the son of John Sr. and Emma, and the great nephew of Jacob Dutton. He’s a hardworking rancher and dedicated to the Dutton name.
Brandon Sklenar will portray Spencer Dutton, Jacob Dutton’s nephew and John Dutton Sr.’s brother.
Jerome Flynn, AKA Bronn from Game Of Thrones, will play Banner Creighton, a hard-nosed Scottish brogue and the leader of the local sheep men. Sounds like he has the makings of the bad guy?
Robert Patrick takes on the role of Sheriff William McDowell, a friend to the Dutton family.
Michelle Randolph will play Elizabeth Strafford, a feisty woman who is willing to do anything to marry into the Dutton family.
Brian Geraghty will play a loyal ranch foreman in the show.
Aminah Nieves will play Teonna Rainwater, a young woman who lives at a government residential boarding school. Judging by the last name, she’s probably related to Thomas Rainwater from Yellowstone.
Julia Schlaepfer will play Alexandra, a British woman who meets one of the Duttons while abroad.
Jennifer Ehle will play Sister Mary O’Connor, an Irish nun.
Former James Bond actor Timothy Dalton will play Donald Whitfield, a “wealthy and nefarious” man who seems to be a Dutton Family enemy.
Nevertheless, I can’t wait to see how it all comes together this December.
The Dutton Family Tree
In that 1893 flashback from Yellowstone Season 4, we see that James has two sons with him, John Sr. and Spencer (who will both be a major characters in 1923)… Generation Two.
They should be in their forties or so by the time 1923 rolls around and will have children of their own including Jack Dutton (Generation Three), and John Sr. 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 III (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.
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?