Before Taylor Sheridan became a household name with “Yellowstone,” he had a role on “Sons of Anarchy” as Deputy David Hale. Hale was an all-American boy and a devoted cop. He played by the rules, sometimes annoyingly so, and in season 1 he had it out for SAMCRO. By season 2 and 3, he’d become more lenient with the gang, but that didn’t save him from being killed in a drive-by at Half-Sack’s funeral.
In reality, David Hale was killed off in season 3 because Taylor Sheridan wanted to move on to other projects. But, apparently, Sheridan didn’t exactly leave on good terms. There were disputes about money, which led to some strong words, which led to Sheridan leaving the show. But, if it wasn’t for that dispute, we may not have gotten “Yellowstone.”
In a recent conversation with Deadline, Sheridan revealed that he was being paid less than everyone else on “Sons of Anarchy.” He had to keep a second job, “SOA” was paying him so little. When he went to negotiate his contract and his attorney mentioned that “there are kids on Cartoon Network making more than you’re offering”, Sheridan recalled that the business affairs attorney responded, “‘I know and you’re right that he probably deserves to make more, but we’re not going to pay him more because guess what, he’s not worth more. That’s what he’s worth. There are 50 of him. He is 11 on the call sheet. That’s what that guy is, and that’s all he’s ever going to be.'”
Sheridan revealed that he quit then. But, sometimes quitting leads to bigger and better things. He decided to put all his focus on writing.
Taylor Sheridan’s Success After ‘Sons of Anarchy’
The first script that Taylor Sheridan sold after that incident was “Sicario”, to Denis Villeneuve. Now, he’s on nearly every TV all over the country, just not in front of the camera anymore; his words take center stage. The fate of Paramount+ is basically in his hands at this point.
The streaming service has three of Sheridan’s creations currently in production; “Yellowstone”, “1883”, and “Mayor of Kingstown,” starring Jeremy Renner. He has another in the works, “6666”, about the legendary Texas ranch. Although Sheridan says that series hasn’t really shaped up into anything yet, “Yellowstone” has been featuring crossover-like hints that it could turn into its own spinoff.
Of his writing process, Sheridan said, “I don’t know how to make a TV show. I don’t have any idea and don’t really care to learn. I don’t do pattern budgeting, or write act breaks into things.”
He continued, “I write 10-hour movies, and go shoot them. I don’t have a writers room, I’ve written them all myself […] I don’t do outlines. I’ve just sat down and written all the episodes before we started filming. That way everybody knows what we’re doing, all the way through.”
It’s an interesting process, but one that seems to be working for Taylor Sheridan, if the overwhelmingly positive reception to his TV shows is anything to go by.