Yellowstone-verse is every neo-western fan’s dream franchise, with the spinoffs, especially 1923, quickly becoming more popular than the main show. 1923 doesn’t bridge the gap from 1883 to Yellowstone, though, which is why the announcement of 1944 was welcome news for many fans. Despite being a welcome sequel to 1923, fans still wonder how 1944 connects to the main show.
Set at the peak of WWII, 1944 is the Yellowstone spinoff that will define the most critical period in the history of the Duttons and the Yellowstone ranch. The show connects the family tree from the survivors of the events in 1923 to John Dutton, or at least his father, John Dutton Jr. 1944 also coincides with the era of Montana’s agricultural boom, which means the ranch grows into the multibillion-dollar enterprise portrayed in the main show.
Despite breaking Paramount+’s record for the most viewed premiere, 1923 leaves fans with more questions than answers, especially regarding the Dutton family tree. Significant time gaps exist between the events in 1923 to Yellowstone, including the great depression and WWII. The events in 1944 will portray the best of the Duttons’ tenacity as they survive the greatest threats to their lives and way of life.
How is 1944 connected to Yellowstone?
1944 is the bridge between the events in 1923 and those in Yellowstone, covering the recovery of the ranch from The Great Depression. WWII will also play a major role in the show, likely showing some members of the Dutton family going to war and how it affects them and the ranch, as what WWI did to Spencer in 1923.
It is an interesting survival story of how the Duttons survived the hardest times in recent history. 1944 will also show the transformation of Yellowstone from the Wild West into a modern ranch without significantly changing the ranching culture.
The transition from the lawlessness of the wild-west style ranching in Montana to the modern era may also see the emergence of The Train Station in 1944. The Duttons will have to deal with the same old enemies trying to take their land while dealing with a modernized but ineffective justice system that leaves their fate in their own hands.
1944 will also show the group of Duttons that usher in the modern era of the ranch, including older versions of the survivors of 1923. Coming just 20 years after 1923, Jack, Alexandra, Spencer, and their children will have a major role to play because they will be in charge of the ranch.
The rise of the Rainwaters to chieftaincy in the tribe is another aspect of Yellowstone-verse that cannot be ignored. 1923 has seen them take their place on the Reservation, and 1944 will likely cover the lineage’s role in uniting the tribe and protecting their interests.
1944 will also close the family tree gap from the 1923 Duttons to John Dutton. His father, John Dutton Jr., shown in Yellowstone flashbacks, will be in his childhood. Whether the Duttons in Yellowstone are the descendants of Spencer and Alexandra or Jack and Elizabeth will also be revealed.
Like 1923, 1944 will cover women’s role extensively on the ranch since the massive deployment of men in the army will leave the ranch with fewer cowboys. It will therefore show the best version of cowgirls with more of the Dutton women in charge of the ranch.
Will Mathew McConaughey star in 1944?
The Paramount Network is yet to give details on the plot and cast of 1944, but there have been rumors that Mathew McConaughey may take the lead. McConaughey’s name came into the picture amid rumors of a fallout between the Yellowstone-Verse producer Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner, who plays John Dutton.
McConaughey was reportedly in talks with 101 Studios and Paramount to join the franchise, which was welcome news for many fans considering his electric performance in True Detective. McConaughey is unlikely to join The 6666 Ranch, which was already in production when the news broke, leaving 1944 as his most likely engagement.
Paramount Network is believed to support Sheridan’s decision to continue with the Spinoffs rather than focusing on the main show. Yellowstone is, therefore, likely to conclude after the fifth season with Kevin Costner’s exit.
McConaughey’s role hasn’t been confirmed by the network yet, but he is believed to take the lead role as a Dutton in one of the Spinoffs. It is still unclear whether he will play an older version of the 1923 Duttons or another family branch that the series hasn’t introduced.
Who else will star in 1944?
Kurt Russell is another name rumored to join the Yellowstone-Verse after the 1944 announcement, but it is just speculation. There is no confirmation on whether 1944 is the project that the Tombstone star will join. Some rumors suggest he will join a modern-day spinoff similar to The 6666 Ranch.
A 20-year time gap can also be accounted for by makeup and costume changes, which may allow some 1923 stars to feature in 1944. Older versions of Brandon Sklenar as Spencer Dutton and Darren Mann as Jack Dutton may appear. The same goes for Aminah Nieves, Michelle Randolph, and Julia Schlaefpfer.
Paramount has always picked the biggest names in Hollywood to lead the lines in Yellowstone-Verse, and 1944 is not likely to be any different. It is likely to see a host of A-listers join. The franchise is now admirable to many big names n the industry after the success of the main show and the spinoffs.
Where is 1944 filming?
1944 will be filmed in the Bitterroot River Valley in Montana on the Chief Joseph Ranch, just like Yellowstone and 1923. Tom Prince, vice president of 101 Studios which coproduces the shows with Paramount, confirmed the location on February 5, 2023.
Paramount and 101 Studios had attended an appreciation ceremony celebrating the investment and boost to tourism that filming in the valley had brought to Montana. Tom Prince’s statement promised more investment in the filming location with future spinoffs.
1944 is also likely to see more buildings on the ranch than 1923 which didn’t cover events in the bunkhouse. 1944 is likely to see women in the bunkhouse just like Yellowstone because of the shorthandedness of the era. Brand loyalty will also be a major topic considering the tough times the ranch undergoes in that period.
The main Dutton house is not likely to change because it stays the same in 1923 and Yellowstone. The expansion of ranching operations to coincide with the agricultural boom in Montana during the period will also have to be accounted for. There will therefore be bigger herds and more ranching-centered equipment.
When will 1944 be released?
The release date for 1944 hasn’t been confirmed, but it will likely come out in 2024 or early 2025 after The 6666 Ranch concludes. Tom prince didn’t put any timelines on the production of the Yellowstone prequel. However, Paramount released 1923 within a year of announcing it, and 1944 might see the same trend.
The confirmed second season of 1923 is likely to be the only project filming on the Chief Joseph Ranch after the conclusion of Yellowstone. That will leave room at the location for the filming of 1944, allowing it to be released in the same quick fashion as 1923 and The 6666 Ranch.
Currently, Paramount + is heavily reliant on the success of Yellowstone and its spinoffs, which is why most of the shows are being released in quick succession. The network will likely build on the success of 1923 by releasing 1944 while interest in the franchise is still high.