Billy Bob Thornton Cast in ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel ‘1883’ Alongside Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw

by Jon D. B.

The Yellowstone prequel just keeps getting better! Billy Bob Thornton is set to join 1883′s rush into America’s Westward Expansion.

What a time to be an Outsider! First, Taylor Sheridan would secure real-life lovebirds and country megastars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to give life to his ancestral Duttons: James and Margaret respectively. Then, Western icon Sam Elliott’s casting would elevate proceedings.

Now, Variety is reporting that fellow Hollywood legend Billy Bob Thornton is joining Yellowstone‘s period prequel, 1883. Thornton is onboard as Marshal Jim Courtright, a lawman who will encounter the Dutton family on their long journey.

Outside of his name and occupation, details are sparse. We do know, however, that Thornton will appear in a guest star role. Knowing creator Taylor Sheridan’s past, fans can rest easy that the iconic actor’s presence will not go to waste. Whatever role his marshal has to play is sure to be memorable, to say the least.

For 1883, McGraw, Hill, Elliott, and Thornton will venture into the American West circa that year in time. The Duttons will take part in the great Westward Expansion of U.S. history, escaping a tumultuous life in Texas to make a new life in Montana. The series will serve as a stark retelling of the expansion and an immense caravan’s journey into the “last bastion of untamed America.”

‘1883’ Brings on Another Heavyweight in Billy Bob Thornton

Alongside Sam Elliott, Thornton’s presence is sure to garner further interest in the Yellowstone prequel. The actor is an Oscar winner and three-time nominee, and has starred in countless pop culture classics across film and television.

Two of Thornton’s Oscar nominations came courtesy of his both writing and starring in 1996 classic Sling Blade. He would win the award for best adapted screenplay.

His other Oscar nod came from his performance in A Simple Plan. Dozens of iconic characters would follow: from Monster Ball and Bad Santa, to Armageddon and Friday Night Lights, Billy Bob Thornton is a true Hollywood heavyweight.

Now, he’ll bring his A-list A-game to television for Taylor Sheridan’s 1883 via Paramount. Current audiences know Thornton’s small screen work well. He won a Golden Globe in 2017 for Amazon’s Goliath. Yet nothing seems to eclipse his stellar work on FX’s wildly successful Fargo as Lorne Malvo. He would win another Golden Globe for this performance alongside an Emmy nomination.

As for 1883, the series hits Paramount Network and Paramount+ on December 19, 2021.

“It all starts with the writing. And Taylor Sheridan is a brilliant writer,” Sam Elliott, who’s set to play Shea Brennan, a Pinkerton agent tasked with leading the Duttons to Montana, said of the upcoming show in his casting statement. “I think the Western genre speaks clearly to both of us. The classic struggles of man against man, man against nature, and man against himself.”