Tom Hanks to Appear in 'Yellowstone' Prequel '1883'

The upcoming Yellowstone prequel, 1883, made a big casting announcement today, revealing that Tom Hanks is set to appear in the new series. He joins previously announced main cast members Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Billy Bob Thornton.The Oscar-winning star is not joining 1883 as a main cast member but, according to Deadline, he does turn up in the second episode during a flashback scene. Hanks portrays Union General George Meade, who Tim McGraw's James Dutton met at the Battle of Antietam — one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles. 

Created by Sheridan, 1883 is a Yellowstone prequel that jumps back to tell the story of James and Margaret Dutton, who traveled to Montana more than a century ago to seek a better life. The Dutton family patriarch and matriarch will be played by McGraw and Hill, respectively. Elliott will be playing Shea Brennan, who Deadline described as "a tough-as-nails, handsome cowboy with immense sadness in his past." Brennan is tasked with "guiding a group from Texas to Montana," but they will quickly learn that he is not one to "suffer fools." In a statement on joining the cast of the new series, Elliott said, "It all starts with the writing, and Taylor Sheridan is a brilliant writer. I think the western genre speaks clearly to both of us." The former Ranch star continued, "The classic struggles of man against man, man against nature and man against himself. It's all there, in 1883, and I'm honored to be a part of it."

Dances With Wolves star Graham Greene also stars in 1883 and will play Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder who helps the Dutton family on their journey to the American West. Actresses Isabel May and LaMonica Garrett have been cast in 1883 as well, along with Audie Rick (Kenobi: A Star Wars Story), Marc Rissmann (Game of Thrones), Eric Nelsen (All My Children), and James Landry Hébert (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood).

Speaking about his approach to filming the new show, Sheridan explained that realism was crucial. "I don't build a world with visual effects," he said, per Us Weekly. "I go shoot these corners of the world that people haven't seen. The audience today is so experienced. They've seen so much, so to move the audience becomes more and more difficult. It's incredibly expensive and very difficult. But we can do it as John Ford did it. When you need 50 wagons, you're going to see 50 [real] wagons." 1883 debuts Sunday, December 19 on Paramount+.