The Yellowstone prequel, 1883 is officially in production. With a massive budget, Taylor Sheridan at the helm, and a star-studded cast, the show seems set up for total success. But building a set for a western of this scale is incredibly tricky. In fact, everything had to be built up for 1883.
Showrunner Taylor Sheridan, who also is the showrunner for Yellowstone, didn’t want anything shy of authenticity. They are shooting on location in Texas and Montana for the series. 1883 Executive producer David Glasser explained to Deadline just what had to be done to get the show to work.
“There’s nothing that exists we could use for this. There are no buildings. We’re building an entire city of downtown Fort Worth, with all the hustle and bustle. Every piece of wardrobe, guns, even saddles weren’t what they are today. Everything had to be built, top to bottom. Viacom stepped up when Taylor said, ‘look, this is not going to be an easy or inexpensive show to make. This is going to be epic and huge and I want to tell it in the scope as if I were making a 10-hour movie,” Glasser explained.
30 Wagon Trains and an 1800s Town Have Been Built for ‘1883’
Apparently, they’ve built an entire 1800s town in the stockyards of Fort Worth, Texas. In another incredible feat, 30 wagon trains have been built just for the show.
“The Duttons travel with other families and pick up other groups along the way. It’s like a moving city. Taylor didn’t want to do it CGI, where you could have built 10 wagon trains and with the world we’re living in today, you could have added 20. We’re taking 30 wagon trains across America, and he’s recreated everything,” Glasser said.
Of course, that kind of effort costs major money. According to Deadline, the show may have at least $10 million per episode of 1883. That’s a massive budget for what Glasser and Sheridan both agree is a massive project.
1883 follows an early generation of Duttons as they head west in hopes for a better life. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are set to star as James and Margaret Dutton. Sam Elliott, known for his work on A Star is Born and Tombstone will also star as their guide whose been in the dangerous line of work for years.
The show just started production, but you’ll get the first episode before Christmas. Taylor Sheridan’s 1883 will premiere on December 19th of this year. Yellowstone comes back over a month earlier, debuting its fourth season on November 7th.