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  • The Dutton family are heading west in the Yellowstone prequel series 1883.
  • Taylor Sheridan’s new show stars Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sam Elliott, and Isabel May.
  • How are McGraw and Hill’s characters related to Kevin Costner’s John Dutton?
Yellowstone 1883 Faith Hill Tim McGraw and Isabel May in costume in an image from the prequel series
The stars of ‘Yellowstone’ prequel series ‘1883’ | Paramount

1883 — the highly anticipated Yellowstone prequel — is coming soon to Paramount+. The new Taylor Sheridan western features Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in the star-studded cast, and it will tell the origin story of John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) precious Yellowstone Ranch. Which character does Hill play? And, how is she related to the Yellowstone hero?

The Duttons head west in ‘1883’

Details about 1883 haven’t been easy to come by. But we do know that the series’ title hints at its late 19th century time period, when John Dutton’s ancestors moved to Montana. According to a press release, the prequel will follow the Dutton family as they “embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America.”

“It is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land — Montana,” the press release reads.

The pilot description reveals that the series will begin with James Dutton (McGraw) arriving in Texas, where he and his family prepare to head west with the promise of opportunity and finding a new home.

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw aren’t the only superstars in the ‘Yellowstone’ prequel

In addition to Hill and McGraw, the cast features Oscar nominee Sam Elliott. He plays a character named Shea Brennan, a “tough-as-nails, handsome cowboy with immense sadness in his past.” Shea has “the herculean task of guiding the group from Texas to Montana, and he does not suffer fools.”

The 1883 trailer also revealed that the prequel will feature guest appearances from Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Hanks. Thornton will star as Marshal Jim Courtright, while Hanks will be featured as a Union Army General.

How is Faith Hill’s character in ‘1883’ related to John Dutton?

In 1883, Hill and her real-life husband play John Dutton’s great-grandparents Margaret and James Dutton. They are the first members of the family to settle the Montana land that becomes the Yellowstone Ranch, making them the original patriarch and matriarch of the Dutton ranching dynasty.

They have three children — Elsa, John, and Spencer. Their son John is the first of three “Johns” in the family line. If we’ve done our math correctly, James and Margaret’s son John appears to be the grandfather of Costner’s John Dutton.

‘Yellowstone’ fans saw a sneak preview of ‘1883’ in the season 4 premiere

A few weeks before the debut of 1883 on Paramount+, Yellowstone fans were treated to a sneak peek of McGraw and the prequel via a flashback during the season 4 premiere.

In the scene, McGraw as James Dutton was with his sons on the Dutton land when they spotted Indians. While speaking with the chief, James discovered that they were there to bury one of their ancestors. After some debate, he allowed them to do it. He also left them a cow to harvest and eat.

Yellowstone seemingly tied the 1883 clip back to the present day when a construction crew was digging on the land. They had to stop when they found a skeleton, the assumption being it was the ancestor buried in the flashback to the prequel.

Will fans recognize Faith Hill in ‘1883’?

Fans have already gotten the chance to see McGraw in action in 1883, but the only glimpse they’ve gotten of Hill as Margaret Dutton is in the prequel’s trailer. Will they be able to recognize the country music superstar?

If she looks anything like she did on the recent cover of People magazine, Hill might be hard to find. The singer was rocking her natural brown and curly hair, and the highly-edited pic had some fans wondering if she’d had plastic surgery.


‘Yellowstone’ Fans Have ‘Never Seen Anything Like’ ‘1883’ Promises Spinoff Star Faith Hill

“Find Faith…because that can’t be her,” one fan wrote. “That’s not Faith. There’s no way,” added another before a third quipped, “This doesn’t look like Faith Hill at all.”

1883 premieres Sunday, December 19 on the Paramount Network and Paramount+. After the special two-hour premiere, 1883 will move exclusively to the streamer.