Did ‘Yellowstone’ Draw Inspiration for Opening Credits From This HBO Hit?

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Yellowstone Gallery/Paramount Network)

There’s nothing like queuing up your favorite show–“Yellowstone” of course–and watching the opening credits, and…wait, that looks familiar.

Fans on Reddit are having the same realization about the “Yellowstone” opening credits. Apparently, they look a lot like the “Westworld” opening credits. Which, fair. Both shows follow a similar vein, except, you know, that whole thing about “Westworld.” The “everyone’s a robot and the whole place is a theme park” thing. “Yellowstone” is a bit more tame, but not by much; they have to deal with the whole “people blowing us up in our offices and guys shooting us in the middle of the road” thing.

But, fans are right, the openers are decidedly similar. They both feature western landscapes, horses, guns, and general western motifs. But, while “Yellowstone”‘s credits feel large and sprawling, “Westworld”‘s are contained, isolated. They’re meant to make you feel like you’re in the manufacturing department of the Mesa Hub. The backgrounds are dark, there’s machinery coming from nowhere, people and animals are being fabricated before your eyes. You’re meant to feel small and surrounded.

The “Yellowstone” credits create a large landscape, indicating the Dutton Ranch’s size. The family owns the biggest parcel of land, and the credits portray that. Everything is shades of yellow, which creates a rich sort of atmosphere. It’s the color of gold; but there are also splotches of black that could represent corruption and death, two things “Yellowstone” has in spades.

The music itself is also similar. Both the “Yellowstone” theme and the “Westworld” theme are quiet, almost gentle. They’re not bombastic, exciting themes; they don’t stir up adventurous or daring feelings. “Westworld” is a little more ominous, but “Yellowstone” feels grand and sweeping. It says, “look upon the wealth of our land.”

What Fans Are Saying About the ‘Yellowstone’ and ‘Westworld’ Comparisons

Fans of both shows are discussing the comparisons on Reddit, with the general consensus being that yes, they’re very similar.

“Do the opening credits for Yellowstone look suspiciously like opening credits for Westworld?” the original post asked. “Yes. Borrowed liberally,” one fan replied. They went on to discuss the success of the first “Westworld” season, writing, “Only good season of Westworld was the first.”

Which, true, the first season of “Westworld” was mind-bogglingly good. The second was still pretty good, if a little off the wall crazy. The third doesn’t even bear speaking about. Luckily, “Yellowstone” seems to be good all the way through the third season. Sure, fans have their issues here and there, but nothing like the gripes against “Westworld” season 3.

One fan had some fun with the discussion, throwing out a theory. They wrote, “Plot twist: Yellowstone is just a west world map!” And honestly, how fun would that be?