Sam Elliott Talks 1883 Ending, Spinoff Potential: ‘Everyone Was Sad To See It End’

Sam Elliott, the mustachioed actor best known for his roles in 1883, A Star Is Born and The Big Lebowski, sat on Variety’s Talks, presented by Paramount+, to discuss the endings and beginnings of his long… meditate career.

Elliott, who was born and raised in Sacramento, explained that his love of filmmaking developed through frequent visits to The Sequoia, his local theater. At the age of 9 he saw Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), which he sees as a major source of inspiration for his commitment to acting: “I wanted to give an audience a sense of what that magic is doing up there,” said Elliot .

A deep dive into Variety’s archives shed light on when Elliott’s name ever appeared in print. Elliott was laughing with Variety’s co-editor Cynthia Littleton when she surprised him with a copy of his very first reference in Variety, a two-line article from the April 16, 1968 issue, in which he noted that he had signed a contract player for 20th Century Fox in the waning days of Old Hollywood.

55 years later, Elliott stars in writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s “1883,” a limited series on Paramount+ set before the events of “Yellowstone.” Elliott plays Shea Brennan, a cowboy and Civil War veteran who leads the Dutton family from Texas to Montana. Shea’s emotional complexity, largely masked by his rugged exterior, demonstrates Elliot’s dynamic range as a performer.

“It wasn’t a big challenge for me because I was so familiar with the genre,” Elliott said of taking on the role. “It means I’ve gone places I’ve never been before in this genre. And I think that’s probably because so much of the character was internalized.”

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Filming for 1883 spanned August 2021 through January 2022, during which the actors faced a range of harsh conditions, from the sweltering heat of Texas to the freezing cold of Montana. But once production wrapped, Elliott admitted he was sad to see the show end.

“I think everyone was sad when it was over; I know it was me I would have liked if that wagon train had gone to Canada by then and just stuck with it,” Elliott said.

“My thought was, ‘Let’s do a prequel to this,'” he continued. “Where was LaMonica? Where were the two guys? Pick it up after the war when they were Pinkertons. There is much to do.”

A future 1883 spin-off isn’t quite off the table, Elliott confirmed, but for now it remains to be seen when Yellowstone franchise enthusiasts will see Shea’s reprisals.