The cast of 1883 is looking to be stacked. The show will be airing on Paramount+ shortly. If the name sounds familiar, it is a spin-off of the highly successful series Yellowstone. Yellowstone aired its 4th season in November with more viewers than ever before. 12.7 million viewers watched the premier live, according to Deadline. Creator and writer Taylor Sheridan is not slowing down. 1883 is a prequel spin-off series that takes place not just in the year 1883, but set during the Civil War with a pivotal scene during the Battle of Antietam. The cast members include country music star Tim McGraw in a leading role as well as Billy Bob Thornton. But that isn’t the only surprise in the cast list. Deadline has also revealed that Tom Hanks will be appearing in a critical role.
Tom Hanks will be appearing as a Union general. The role itself is an original character, according to Deadline. But it is inspired by real-life General George Meade. Sheridan states that he is taking advantage of the immense popularity of Yellowstone to get actors he always admired. Tom Hanks has two Oscar wins under his belt and would fit into the world that Sheridan has created. But Hanks is also no stranger to period pieces, neither in terms directing as or acting.
After all a large part of Tom Hanks’ success in Saving Private Ryan is thanks to consultant Stephen E. Ambrose (The Baltimore Sun). Ambrose wrote the non-fiction book Band of Brothers. The book was then turned into the heralded HBO miniseries that has an impressive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. The properties were realistic because they were based in fact. Hanks directed episodes of Band of Brothers which went on to be nominated for 20 Emmy’s. Hanks’ star power is relevant in the period piece 1883. Though based in fiction, his appearance brings more credence to the show.
Also appearing alongside Tom Hanks is star Tim McGraw’s real-life wife. Fellow country star Faith Hill is set to play James Dutton’s (McGraw) wife Margaret Dutton. Hill’s only other notable acting role was in 2004’s remake The Stepford Wives, starring Nicole Kidman. 1883 is a prequel, revolving around the family everyone knows from Yellowstone. The show will depict the Duttons’ trek across America as they journey west through the Great Plains. Additional actors from the series include Sam Elliott who is no stranger to Westerns. 1883 will air on December 19th on Paramount+. Should 1883 succeed as Yellowstone has, this would add even more acclaim. Taylor Sheridan has proven his practiced touch as he has also written the modern western Hell or High Water.
As to be expected, 1883 is only one of the projects that Tom Hanks is involved with this year. His film Finch is one of the most watched films to premiere on Apple TV+ (via Deadline). Finch is a dystopian drama with a naturally short cast list. Hanks plays the titular character Finch who struggles to survive in the vast wasteland. He is joined by his dog and the robot created to protect them.
Tom Hanks has several additional films on the horizon. He is set to star in A Man Called Ove as the title character. The film is an adaptation a book of the same name that was released in 2012 (via The Hollywood Reporter). Also on the docket is the new film Asteroid City. Hanks will be joined by actors Scarlett Johansson and Margot Robbie when the film premieres.