yellowstone star Kevin Costner was the first big name to join the Sheridanverse, paving the way for others to follow. Thanks to the success of Taylor Sheridan’s neo-western — which was built around Costner as fifth-generation rancher John Dutton — Paramount is expanding the Dutton story once again with the new prequel 1923.
This Dutton generation stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as Costner’s ancestors Jacob and Cara Dutton. But long before Ford joined the Sheridanverse, Costner actually handed him an iconic role.
‘Yellowstone’ star Kevin Costner handed Harrison Ford this iconic role
Both Ford and Costner were box office powerhouses throughout the 1980s and 1990s. And sometimes, they would be in the running for the same role. According to Looper, back in 1997 it was Costner who was tapped to play President James Marshall in the iconic film Air Force One. However, he ended up handing the role to Ford.
“This was a script that Kevin Costner originally had, and he gave it to me,” Ford said. “Kevin knew this was a big commercial movie, and his schedule did n’t allow him to do it.”
The Star Wars alum noted that Costner told the film’s producers that he would certainly step away from the role if the part went to Ford. The two A-listers weren’t close friends, but Ford said at the time that he liked Costner “very much.” And, he liked him even more after getting the lead role in Air Force One because he “really threw a winner” his way.
Long before he joined the Sheridanverse, Harrison Ford starred alongside Helen Mirren
Decades before starring as Jacob and Cara Dutton, Ford and Mirren played husband and wife Allie and Margot Fox in Peter Weir’s 1986 film The Mosquito Coast. At the time, Ford was one of the biggest movie stars in the world after playing Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and starring in two Indiana Jones movies. Mirren, however, was mostly a stage actress and wasn’t well known in the United States.
“When we first worked together, he was a huge movie star and I was like nobody. So I was very intimidated,” Mirren told Variety at the 1923 premiere. “I learned a lot from him because I hadn’t done a lot. I had done a lot of theater at that point, [but] I hadn’t done a lot of movies. So I watched him and he taught me a great deal about film acting that, to this day, I’m still using.”
The ‘Yellowstone’ prequel tells a ‘juicy, juicy story’
The setting for the new yellowstone Prequel 1923 is 1920’s Montana, when the Duttons are facing hardships during a time of western expansion. The post World War I time period will also see the family dealing with prohibition and the coming Great Depression. Ford says his character has “unique circumstances with a unique personal history.”
“This is the story of what it has taken to survive, for that person to survive its complicated moral context and it’s a juicy, juicy story and I love it,” he told Deadline.