How Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren's '1923' Duttons fit into the 'Yellowstone' universe
Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are riding into "1923."
The screen stars portray married couple Jacob and Cara Dutton in the Paramount+ "Yellowstone" prequel. They're ancestors of the current-day Yellowstone Dutton ranch owner and patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner).
Ford, 80, and Mirren, 79, starred as husband and wife in the jungles of Central America in the 1986 drama "Mosquito Coast." They face new wonders and perils in the Montana wilderness of "1923" (now streaming on Paramount+).
Here's why their roles are a big deal, and how the Duttons fit into the expanding "Yellowstone" universe created by executive producer Taylor Sheridan:
'Yellowstone' family tree: Who are the 7 generations of Duttons? Mapping the Dutton Family in 'Yellowstone' and '1883'
Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are '1923' Duttons
Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren star as Jacob Dutton and wife Cara in the "Yellowstone" prequel drama "1923," premiering Sunday on Paramount+ and Paramount Network.
"1923" is the second "Yellowstone" prequel, following the events of the 2021 limited series "1883."
Ford's Jacob is the brother of James Dutton, the settler played by Tim McGraw in "1883."
Ford gets a new '1923' hat
Ford, who put on the famed fedora one last time for the franchise-ending "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" (due June 30), gets a new hat for "1923."
Costume designer Janie Bryant says she and Ford tried more than 75 hats (all rejected by the actor or Sheridan) before deciding on a handmade model she calls "The Jacob," with a distinctive crease called the "Montana Peak."
"Westerns are all about a hat, and that crease is important for his character," says Bryant.
Mirren shows true grit in '1923'
Mirren will display a different kind of steel that we saw in her Oscar-winning performance in 2006's "The Queen." "1923" opens with Cara chasing a villain with a shotgun.
"She's not some rootin'-shootin' mama," says Mirren. "She's under extreme circumstances."
The new series features new perils, set at a time when Montana endured pandemics, historic drought and the Great Depression.
See the '1923' trailer
How the Duttons of '1923' carry on from '1883'
The eight-episode" "1923" continues the family drama of 2021's "1883," which showcased the famed ranch's founders James and Margaret Dutton (played by real-life husband and wife Tim McGraw and Faith Hill).
James and Margaret had dreams of moving to Oregon with their daughter Elsa (Isabel May) and 5-year-old son John (Audie Rick). But after tragedy befell the westward trek led by Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott), including Elsa's death, the Duttons settled in Montana on what became the Yellowstone Dutton ranch.
James' death was actually shown in a "Yellowstone" Season 4 flashback to 1893, depicting the stoic lawman in a skirmish with horse thieves. He was shot but finished off his foes and made it home to die three decades before "1923." The first episode makes clear Margaret also has died.
Expect more on Margaret's death, and how Jacob, James' brother, came to oversee the Dutton ranch in "1923." Grown-up John Dutton Sr. (James Badge Dale) is Jacob's right-hand man.
What other Duttons are in '1923'?
The new cast of Duttons includes Jack Dutton (Darren Mann), the son of John Dutton Sr. Jack is engaged to Elizabeth Strafford (Michelle Randolph).
World War I veteran Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar), James and Margaret's youngest son (born after "1883"), is portrayed dealing with life's horrors by working far away from Montana - in Kenya.
"1923," like "1883," is narrated by the doomed Elsa, from beyond the grave.
Is 'Tulsa King' connected to '1923'?
"Tulsa King" is a limited series created by Sheridan that kicked off in November, at the same time as "Yellowstone" Season 5. Starring Sylvester Stallone as a modern-day New York City mob capo who is shuffled off to Tulsa following a 25-year prison sentence, the series 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 prison-filled Kingstown, Michigan, which begins a second season on Jan. 15, besides their shared creator-producer, Sheridan.
Take a longer 'Yellowstone' trip
Kevin Costner: Discusses John Dutton's 'Yellowstone' political run
Lainey Wilson: Dishes on her 'Yellowstone' acting debut, sizzling romance: 'Wild and crazy love'
'Yellowstone' Season 5: Everything to know and John Dutton as governor
Sylvester Stallone: Finally gets his 'Godfather' Mob wish in 'Tulsa King,' with a Western twist
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: '1923' Duttons: How Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren fit in 'Yellowstone'