Why Josh Brolin Doesn't Feel Outer Range Is "Piggybacking" Off Yellowstone's Success

Despite obvious similarities, Josh Brolin insists his show Outer Range is far more than a Yellowstone copycat. See why he refutes the insinuation.

By Daniel Trainor Jun 22, 2022 1:25 AMTags
Watch: Kevin Costner Talks Bigger Picture of "Yellowstone" at 2022 SAG Awards

All is definitely not quiet on the western front—and Josh Brolin says there's nothing wrong with that. 

The Oscar nominee stars as Royal Abbott on Prime Video's Outer Range, a sci-fi western about a rancher fighting for his land and family after discovering a mystery at the edge of Wyoming's wilderness. The series has drawn predictable comparisons to Paramount+'s Yellowstone, the tale of the Dutton family starring Kevin Costner that has broken ratings records and breathed new life into the western genre.

Brolin, who previously appeared in 2010's western True Grit, argued Outer Range is only adding new layers to the modern western.

"Yellowstone was the first—like we were with True Grit—in bringing back the Western, and that's a great thing," he told Variety on June 21. "If you piggyback on that trend, you feel like you are piggybacking. But if you are coming with something within the genre that's wholly original, then you feel good about it."

Besides, just because the shows might share similar aesthetics from time to time, it doesn't mean that there isn't room at the table for both. As Brolin argued, "There's nothing other than horses and cowboy hats and maybe warring families in Outer Range that reminds me of Yellowstone."

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Earlier this year, Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan had, well, a bit of a different take on all of the westerns popping up on television in the wake of his show's success.

"I don't know that it's flattering, because I don't think they're doing it because Yellowstone is good," Sheridan told Variety in April. "They're doing it because 15 million people watch it. And they're like, ‘A lot of people watch westerns. Let's make westerns.'"

In addition to Outer RangeThe CW launched Walkera Walker, Texas Ranger reboot starring Supernatural alum Jared Padalecki—in December 2021, while Fox is adapting a TV version of Hell or High Water, according to Variety. Sheridan directed the movie in 2016, though he's not involved in the adaptation.


Regardless of what Sheridan thinks, Outer Range creator Brian Watkins insisted his vision is uniquely personal.

"I think the West is a lot stranger than our narrative categories have always really portrayed," he told Variety. "I wanted to write something that I felt encompassed the West I knew, as a place that was always reaching for transcendence. It is a place that is undeniably filled with mystery and wonder."

All eight episodes of Outer Range are available to stream on Prime Video.

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