Hollywood handles history much differently in 2021. Which is, to say the least, absolutely for the better. While many classic Westerns remain just that – classics – historical accuracy wasn’t always at the forefront. This is especially the case for North America’s Native American population.
As fans of Yellowstone know, however, Taylor Sheridan is a stalwart activist for Native American rights. His respect for this continent’s indigenous peoples is paramount, and this is guiding his Yellowstone prequel series, 1883, in a big way.
From his wildly acclaimed film, Wind River, to three seasons of Yellowstone, Sheridan has proven himself a worthy ally to Native Americans. With 1883, he and Executive Producer David Glasser are going even further than they have in the past.
Glasser cites that Sheridan has brought together a “team of advisors” for 1883 in order to ensure accuracy. Not just accuracy, though, but “meticulous” historical accuracy.
The EP says every detail is being discussed and properly sourced by historians. He puts the spotlight on the cultures and languages of the Native American tribes present in the time of 1883. The sprawling epic is set to travel from Texas to Montana through the late 1800s, and Sheridan’s team is ensuring that every detail will be as close to it was in reality.
‘1883’ Will ‘Recreate Everything’ for ‘Yellowstone’s Period Prequel
Alongside Sheridan’s team of historians, he’s bringing back Yellowstone‘s brilliant production design “trio” of production designer Cary White, set decorator Carly Curry and art director Yvonne Boudreau.
The group is responsible for Yellowstone‘s recent Emmy nominations. And each has proven themselves as much a stickler for historical accuracy as boss man Sheridan.
“Taylor is shooting this with 30 wagon trains, going across America,” Glasser details for Deadline. He has no interest in falling back on CGI, either. Neither does the production team, which aims to make 1883 an epic for the ages.
“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,” Glasser continues. “We’re taking 30 wagon trains across America, and he’s re-creating everything.”
To do so, the team will shoot 1883 in both Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, for the beginning of Season 1. There, Glasser says they’ve “built an entire 1800s town in the stockyards of Forth Worth” that’s accurate down to the last tiny detail. Palestine and Guthrie, Texas, are on the list, too.
“There’s nothing that exists we could use for this,” Glasser adds. “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.”
1883’s team is building everything “top to bottom.” The way it should be, Glasser concludes.
We can’t wait to watch 1883 unfold come December 19 on Paramount Network and Paramount+.