We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

1923 star Helen Mirren doesn’t think Yellowstone is a franchise

Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone universe has expanded with prequels and spin-offs, but just don't call it a franchise, says 1923 star Helen Mirren.

Helen Mirren in 1923

Since its humble beginnings back in 2018, Yellowstone has expanded into an expansive universe with prequels, sequels, and spin-offs. But just don’t call it a franchise, says one of the leads of the 1923 cast, Helen Mirren. “I don’t see it as a franchise. I don’t see it like that,” she said at a panel hosted by The Wrap.

Mirren has recently appeared in the Fast and Furious movies and the DCU franchises, so she does have some experience with the concept. But when asked how she would describe Yellowstone and 1923, she said, “I know this is going to sound super pretentious, but I see it more as an examination of the history of America, in the way that War & Peace was an examination of part of the history of Russia, seen through the eyes of families, family members. I see it much more like that.”

It was Sheridan’s screenwriting work on the likes of best thriller movie of the 2010s Sicario (2015), as well as one of the best westerns of recent years, Hell or High Water (2016) and Wind River (2017), that attracted Mirren to the Yellowstone prequel, which she stars in alongside previous television-phobe Harrison Ford.

Mirren continued, “I personally hadn’t seen a lot of Yellowstone, but mostly I jumped on board because of Taylor’s writing in his films that is so very, very good, and it transpired that he is a brilliant writer. He really is. The scripts arrived as complete things that you didn’t want to change a word; you didn’t want to add anything, you didn’t want to take anything away. They were psychologically interesting to play, as an actor.”

We know that there’s going to be a 1923 season 2 as well as spin-offs 1883: The Bass Reeves Story and Yellowstone 6666, which is set on the Texas ranch that Sheridan himself owns. So, it may not be a franchise, but there’s still plenty of yee-hawing to come!