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Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven Was One Of Taylor Sheridan's Biggest Influences For Yellowstone

In an interview with Sridhar Pappu for The Atlantic, Taylor Sheridan spoke about his influences when it came to fashioning his vision for “Yellowstone.” He told the interviewer that one of his main goals when writing the show is to foster “responsible storytelling,” which is a cornerstone of tried and true anti-hero TV programs, including, “The Sopranos,” “Mad Men,” and “Breaking Bad.” Like Vince Gilligan’s searing, drug empire drama, “Yellowstone” is a contemporary western that updates the moral ambiguity of the spaghetti western genre to take advantage of the struggles of modern life.

Sheridan further stated how Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” upended the style of storytelling that many had come to expect from a western film. In the movie, the town sheriff (Gene Hackman) becomes the bad guy while Eastwood’s Will Munny — a former vicious killer and criminal — becomes the champion of the story. The showrunner continued by stating that Eastwood, “let the sheriff be a bully and the hero be this drunken, vicious killer,” and “shattered the myth of the American Western.” The “Sicario” filmmaker then concluded by sharing, “So when I stepped into that world, I wanted there to be real consequences. I wanted to never, ever shy away from, ‘This was the price.'”



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