‘1883’ Star Sam Elliott Is Redefining Cool in New Preview

by Suzanne Halliburton
Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas

We’ll know soon enough about 1883 and Sam Elliott’s intriguing character.

But the 1883 social media team gave us a taste of what Elliott’s Shea Brennan will be about. He’s all kinds of craggy cowboy cool. Using a variety of video screens, the show’s official account gave us many close-up glimpses of Elliott. The video caption — “Sam Elliott redefines cool.” The official account tagged 1883 and Paramount+. The show premieres Dec. 19 on the rebranded CBS streaming service.

If you check out the video, there’s some sweeping, super serious kind of music playing to give us the mood of a group of settlers traveling from Texas to Montana. They all want a better life, so they’re leaving everything they know behind them in Texas. Elliott, as Brennan, is the leader of the group.

And in the 15-second clip, 1883 focuses mainly on the 77-year-old Elliott’s well-worn face. It’s what gives him such great character and gravitas to play the 1883 part. Plus, Elliott keeps his fabulous handlebar ‘stache to play Brennan. The video uses water to change Elliott’s look and then it finally reveals the 1883 logo in all its old-timey, western glory.

Outsider reported earlier this month that the 1883 promos focused mainly on Tim McGraw, who stars as James Dutton. He portrays the great granddad of Kevin Costner’s John Dutton. McGraw’s wife, Faith Hill, plays his 1883 partner, too. Hill is Margaret Dutton.

But 1883 gave fans another trailer that co-starred both McGraw and Elliott, leading critics to believe Shea Brennan will have a significant role in the show. With the premiere still days away, no one is sure how the Yellowstone prequel will play out. The show wants some mystery. We don’t blame them.

But in the newest 1883 trailer, there are frequent flashes of Brennan. He’s the Pinkerton agent who is escorting the Dutton’s from Texas as they travel west and end up in Montana. Brennan is there when James Dutton opts to “go North.” The early 1883 glimpses give us the narrative that Elliott’s Brennan will be alongside the Duttons the entire way. If you’re the 1883 creators, why not give Elliott a terrific part, given that he is at the top of the list of best American cowboys.

In the trailer, we see Elliott as Brennan tell James Dutton: “I admire your courage but you’re going to pick a fight you can’t win before long.”

The 1883 trailer also indicates the long line of covered wagons is headed towards Oregon, as their original destination. And as Brennan points out, they’re headed towards “no man’s land.”

And the 1883 summary trailer also gives Elliott some co-star kind of hype. “From Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan, co-creator of Yellowstone, 1883 follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. Starring Academy Award nominee Sam Elliott and country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.