The mulitalented multitasker behind Yellowstone and 1883 will be feted Nov. 11 in Fort Worth.
Texas native and 1883 creator Taylor Sheridan obviously has impressed the folks back home: On Nov. 11, he’ll be the recipient of the 2022 Larry McMurtry Award at the Lone Star Film Festival Gala in Fort Worth.
The award — named after the esteemed Texas novelist and screenwriter whose legacy includes Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show and Terms of Endearment — honors Texans who have made noteworthy contributions to the state’s film, television and creative industries. The 2021 honorees were Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater.
“It’s an honor to be getting the Larry McMurtry Award in my hometown,” Sheridan said in a prepared statement. “I was such a fan of his work, and being recognized in this way is for sure a thrill. I feel lucky to be able to tell the stories I love while also giving back to the community that has meant so much to me.”
Sheridan’s Paramount+ hit 1883 was filmed in Fort Worth over the summer of 2021 in the Stockyards National Historic District and surrounding ranches. The series was a prequel to his phenomenally popular drama Yellowstone — which kicks off its fifth season Nov. 13 on Paramount Network.
“Taylor is changing the landscape of television,” said Jessica Christopherson, vice president of marketing and film commissioner for Visit Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Film Commission, “and his contributions to the film industry in Texas will only continue to grow. 1883 employed hundreds of locals and contributed greatly to the local economy; we are so excited to honor Taylor at this year’s gala.”
“We are thrilled to honor Fort Worth’s own Taylor Sheridan,” added Chad Mathews, director of the Lone Star Film Society and the Lone Star Film Festival. “Our board of directors wanted to recognize Sheridan for all he has done for the film industry in Fort Worth, and the Larry McMurtry Award seemed the perfect fit.”
Sheridan, who grew up on a ranch in Cranfills Gap, Texas, initially achieved prominence in show business as an actor, most notably as a co-star of the TV series Sons of Anarchy. He transitioned to screenwriting with the 2015 thriller Sicario, the well-received drama about a joint FBI-CIA task force charged with pursuing a notorious drug lord, then followed up with his Oscar-nominated script for Hell or High Water (2016), a tale of Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham) on the hunt for bank-robbing brothers (Chris Pine, Ben Foster).
“I learned how to screenwrite by reading bad screenplays,” Sheridan told C&I in 2020, “which was basically my entire career. When I sat down to write my first screenplay, I said. ‘I have absolutely no idea how to do this. But by God, I know how not to do it. So, if I just don’t do what everyone else is doing, it’ll probably turn out okay.’”
The game plan was successful.
“Yeah,” Sheridan said, “I’d been banging my head against the wall as an actor for 15 years, but I didn’t have to bang my head very much as a writer. There were challenges, of course. But the business of Hollywood is such that they were very ready for the stories that I was telling. I don’t think you could have gotten Sicario made five years before or five years after. But I happened to write that at a time when there was an appetite for it. The same goes for Hell or High Water. Once I sold that story, it didn’t stress me much that I wouldn’t be able to tell whatever I wanted.”
Sheridan made his debut as a feature film writer-director with Wind River (2017), the acclaimed drama starring Jeremy Renner as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent who joins forces with a rookie FBI special agent (Elizabeth Olsen) and a tribal police chief (Graham Greene) to identify the men responsible for the death of a young Native American woman. Then, in 2018, he and co-creator John Linson introduced the Dutton family of Yellowstone, and the world hasn’t been quite the same since.
In addition to Yellowstone, Sheridan also oversees The Mayor of Kingstown, an edgy drama starring Jeremy Renner and set in a Michigan community where incarceration is the major industry; and Tulsa King, a forthcoming series starring Sylvester Stallone as an ex-con Mafioso who attempts to establish a criminal empire in Oklahoma. Also on the horizon for the multitalented writer/producer: 1923, another Yellowstone prequel, this one starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as ancestors of John Dutton; 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, a western based on the exploits of the famed slave-turned-lawman; and 6666, a Yellowstone spinoff set on the legendary real-life ranch in Guthrie, Texas that just happens to be owned by Sheridan.
Sheridan also owns the Bosque Ranch in Weatherford, Texas, and looms large in the Western horse performance industry as an avid supporter and competitor in reining and cutting. Last year, he was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Read more about Taylor Sheridan from our January 2021 issue
More details about the 2022 Lone Star Film Festival, including the lineup of films, panels and events, will be announced later this month. For additional information about the Nov. 11 Lone Star Film Festival Gala in Fort Worth, check out the Lone Star Film Festival website.