Hollywood in Cowtown

Here's a first look at 1883, the Yellowstone prequel filmed in Fort Worth

A first look at 1883, the Yellowstone prequel filmed in Fort Worth

Sam Elliott, 1883, Granbury
Actor Sam Elliott on the set of 1883 in Granbury. Photo courtesy of Austin Miller Imagery
1883 filming, Granbury
Filming outside of Farina's Winery in Granbury Photo courtesy of Austin Miller Imagery
Tim McGraw, 1883 filming
Tim McGraw on set. Facebook/Hank FM
Sam Elliott, 1883, Granbury
1883 filming, Granbury
Tim McGraw, 1883 filming

A little more than a month before the Yellowstone prequel 1883 premieres on Paramount+, creators have dropped the first teaser trailer of the show filmed in and around Fort Worth recently — and it's both star-studded and action-packed. 

1883 follows Yellowstone's Dutton family "as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America," Paramount+ says. "The series is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land — Montana."

The series stars country supercouple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as patriarch and matriarch James and Margaret Dutton; Hollywood legend Sam Elliott as Shea Brennan, described as "a tough-as-nails, handsome cowboy with immense sadness in his past;" Billy Bob Thornton as U.S. Marshal Jim Courtright; and Isabel May as the Duttons' teenage daughter and the series' narrator.

In late summer, the Hollywood cast and crew rolled into Granbury, Weatherford, and in the Fort Worth Stockyards — where an Old West set was constructed and streets were blocked off for filming. Local fans made a sport of following the stars around town, posting glimpses on social media and generating local buzz.

Texas-born writer and co-creator Taylor Sheridan, who lives in Weatherford (scenes were reportedly shot on his private ranch), tells Entertainment Weekly he partially chose Fort Worth because it was once the epicenter for the cattle business and still has many of the old stockyards. 

"I don't build a world with visual effects," he says. "I go shoot these corners of the world that people haven't seen."

Elliott admits to the magazine that the Texas heat was a lot to take. "The first month was brutal," he says. "It was 100 degrees and not easy."

The trailer shows horses and wagons traversing the rugged plains, cowboys engaged in gun battles, a house on fire, and a family in distress. While it's hard to make out any specific locations, it's easy to imagine these Old West-style scenes taking place in the vast expanses of North Texas.

"I heard 1,000 stories, but none could describe this place," the narrator, May, says. "The road west is filled with failures. It was a dream, and the dream is coming true. We are in the land of no mercy now."

Here is the first look of 1883, dropping on Paramount+ on December 19: