The prequel to Yellowstone is getting a major infusion of star power. Two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks will be introduced in the second episode of 1883, playing General George Mead in a guest-starring role.
The episode will feature Hanks‘ General Mead looking down at James Dutton (Tom McGraw) after the brutal Battle of Antietam in the Civil War. Down with a concussion, the gloved hand of General Mead falls on his shoulder. The Civil War battle claimed over 22,700 soldiers on both sides, which marks the bloodiest day in American history, one in which James Dutton nearly died. According to Deadline, Taylor Sheridan, who created 1883, said that, in addition to Hanks, there will be several “surprise” guest stars that will debut over the first season of the Paramount+ series.
The Battle of Antietam scene follows one with Billy Bob Thornton, who portrays a no-nonsense sheriff in Fort Worth, who goes after a band of horse thieves who commits crimes against settlers heading west toward Montana.
Sheridan, a former actor turned series creator, is currently riding high on the success of Yellowstone, which has quickly become a flagship series on the fledgling streaming service. Securing high-profile stars to guest stars in 1883 isn’t the only ace up Sheridan’s sleeve, however. In addition to 1883, Sheridan is also working on Kansas City, a new series that will star Sylvester Stallone as the lead character.
1883 will tell the story of how the Dutton family wound up owning the largest ranch in America in Montana. It is a bloody history, full of risky moves that turned out to bring the once poverty-stricken family untold riches in their land. Along with McGraw and Thornton, 1883 will also star Sam Elliott, Faith Hill, Isabel May, and Lamonica Garrett.
1883 will premiere on Paramount+ on December 19.