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What role do Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren’s ‘1923’ Duttons play in the ‘Yellowstone’ universe?

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are on their way to “1923.”

In the Paramount+ “Yellowstone” prequel, the actors play married couple Jacob and Cara Dutton. They are ancestors of Yellowstone Dutton ranch owner and patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner).

In the 1986 drama “Mosquito Coast,” Ford, 80, and Mirren, 79, played husband and wife in the jungles of Central America. In the Montana wilderness of “1923” (now streaming on Paramount+), they encounter new wonders and perils.

Here’s why their roles are significant, and how the Duttons fit into executive producer Taylor Sheridan’s expanding “Yellowstone” universe:

‘Yellowstone’ family tree: Who are the Duttons’ seven generations? ‘Yellowstone’ and ‘1883’ Maps of the Dutton Family

The ‘1923’ Duttons are Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren.

The “Yellowstone” prequel drama “1923,” starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as Jacob Dutton and his wife Cara, premieres Sunday on Paramount+ and Paramount Network.
Following the events of the 2021 limited series “1883,” “1923” is the second “Yellowstone” prequel.
Ford’s Jacob is the brother of Tim McGraw’s settler in “1883,” James Dutton.

Ford receives a new ‘1923’ hat.

Ford, who wore the famed fedora for the final time in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (due June 30), gets a new hat for “1923.”

Janie Bryant, the costume designer, claims she and Ford tried on more than 75 hats (all of which were rejected by the actor or Sheridan) before settling on a handmade model called “The Jacob,” with a distinctive crease called the “Montana Peak.”

“Westerns are all about the hat, and that crease is crucial to his character,” Bryant says.

In ‘1923,’ Helen Mirren demonstrates true grit.

Mirren will show a different kind of steel than in her Oscar-winning performance in “The Queen” in 2006. “1923” begins with Cara chasing a villain with a shotgun.

“She’s not some rootin’-tootin’ mama,” Mirren says. “She is in difficult circumstances.”

The new series features new perils set in Montana during a time of pandemics, historic drought, and the Great Depression.

How the Duttons of ‘1923’ carry on from the Duttons of ‘1883’

The eight-episode “1923” follows the family drama “1883,” which starred the famed ranch’s founders James and Margaret Dutton in 2021. (played by real-life husband and wife Tim McGraw and Faith Hill).

James and Margaret hoped to relocate to Oregon with their 5-year-old son John and daughter Elsa (Isabel May) (Audie Rick). However, after the westward trek led by Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) was marred by tragedy, including Elsa’s death, the Duttons settled in Montana on what became the Yellowstone Dutton ranch.

James’ death was depicted in a “Yellowstone” Season 4 flashback to 1893, with the stoic lawman engaged in a skirmish with horse thieves. He was shot, but he killed his opponents and returned home to die three decades before “1923.” Margaret has also died, as revealed in the first episode.

More on Margaret’s death and how James’ brother, Jacob, came to oversee the Dutton ranch in “1923” to come. Jacob’s right-hand man is grown-up John Dutton Sr. (James Badge Dale).

What other Duttons can be found in ‘1923’?

Jack Dutton (Darren Mann), the son of John Dutton Sr., is among the new Duttons. Elizabeth Strafford is Jack’s fiancee (Michelle Randolph).

Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar), James and Margaret’s youngest son (born after “1883”), is portrayed dealing with life’s horrors by working in Kenya, far from Montana.

“1923,” like “1883,” is narrated from beyond the grave by the doomed Elsa.

Is there a link between ‘Tulsa King’ and ‘1923’?

“Tulsa King” is a limited series created by Sheridan that premiered in November, concurrently with “Yellowstone” Season 5. The series, starring Sylvester Stallone as a modern-day New York City mob capo who is transferred to Tulsa after serving a 25-year prison sentence, has no story connection to the ranch world of “Yellowstone.”

There’s also no connection to “Mayor of Kingstown,” starring Jeremy Renner as a power broker in the prison-filled town of Kingstown, Michigan, which returns for a second season on Jan. 15, other than Sheridan, the show’s creator-producer.

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