1883 Creator Taylor Sheridan Revealed That Executives Wanted This Character to Live

1883 creator Taylor Sheridan revealed how Paramount+ executives reacted to the deadly finale, noting which departed character they wanted to survive. Here’s what he said.

By Vivian Kwarm Dec 21, 2022 6:48 PMTags
Watch: Harrison Ford & Helen Mirren on "VIGOROUS" Yellowstone Prequel 1923

Taylor Sheridan is peeling back the curtain on the explosive 1883 finale.

The creator of the Yellowstone prequel recently got candid about the shocking end to the Paramount+ series, which saw the deaths of two major charactersIsabel May's Elsa Dutton, who succumbed to her injuries after being shot by an arrow, and Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) by suicide. And more specifically, how the Paramount executives like president Bob Bakish—who had previously ordered more episodes of 1883—reacted to the very definitive conclusion.

"I know they read the scripts, but they don't read scripts," Taylor told Deadline Dec. 20, "so when they read the last episode of 1883, I don't think they digested what had just happened, even though I made it quite clear from the very beginning. 

The Hell or High Water writer noted that it was only after watching the finale that they really understood what he was going for. 

"The story I heard is Bob Bakish watched it and said, ‘wait a minute, she dies! They all die? What do we do in season two?'" Taylor continued. "I said, ‘there is no season two.' They're like, ‘there better be a f--king season two because we already picked it up.' I'm sitting here going, ‘guys everyone is dead.'"

2022 TV Premiere Dates

He added that Paramount wanted to meet to discuss a way Sam's character could have survived, which he found wasn't a viable solution. However, while Taylor wasn't going to deliver a continuation of Shea Brennan and the 1883 Duttons' story, it did lay the groundwork for his second Yellowstone prequel, 1923.

The limited series, which premiered Dec. 18, stars Harrison Ford as Jacob Dutton (brother to Tim McGraw's 1883 character) and Helen Mirren as his wife Cora, picks up on the ranch in the aftermath of World War I and the Spanish flu. (Isabel May also returns to the Yellowstone universe as 1923's narrator.)

Emerson Miller/Paramount+

However, Taylor isn't completely done with 1883. As a second spinoff 1883: The Bass Reeves Story will follow a real-life figure from the era, with David Oyelowo, as Paramount+ notes, playing the "legendary lawman of the Wild West."

All episodes of 1883 are streaming on Paramount+, with 1923 releasing new episodes weekly.

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