‘Land Man’: Everything We Know About Taylor Sheridan’s New Series with Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton

Taylor Sheridan, creator of Yellowstone, is releasing a new series. The show, Land Man, promises a modern-day tale of fortune-seeking in the world of oil rigs, specifically rigs in West Texas.

Fans of the Sheridanverse already know they can expect good storytelling and an impressive lineup of actors with the series. But what else can fans expect? Here’s what we know so far about Land Man.

Land Man Is Just One of the New Series from Taylor Sheridan

Best known for creating the Yellowstone series, with its prequels 1883 and 1923, Taylor Sheridan has also branched out to other shows like Mayor of Kingstown and Tulsa King. He’s had no shortage of projects in development, either. He’s reported to have 10 series in the works, and Land Man is just one of them. The new series, co-created with Christian Wallace, is part of Sheridan’s ongoing deal with Paramount. 

In a June 2023 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sheridan talked about working on so many shows almost simultaneously. He described it as something comparable to what producer Greg Berlanti had done for The CW’s DC Universe. However, that approach failed in some of Sheridan’s shows. He noted that the writers hired for such shows as Lioness and Tulsa King did not work out.

“The plan was I would Greg Berlanti it,” said Sheridan. “I would write, cast, and direct the pilots. And then we would bring in someone as a showrunner to run a writers’ room, and I could check in and guide them.”

“My stories have a very simple plot that is driven by the characters as opposed to characters driven by a plot – the antithesis of the way television is normally modeled,” Sheridan added. “I’m really interested in the dirty of the relationships in literally every scene. But when you hire a room that may not be motivated by those same qualities – and a writer always wants to take ownership of something they’re writing – and I give this directive. And they’re not feeling it, then they’re going to come up with their own qualities. So for me, writers’ rooms, they haven’t worked.”

The Storyline of Land Man

So, what will the series’ plot be? We know that the show is based on the 11-part documentary podcast Boomtown, which debuted in 2019 and chronicled the oil business in Texas. Various online sources have noted a series description for Land Man. Production Weekly has it listed as:

“Set in the proverbial boomtowns of West Texas, Land Man is a modern-day tale of fortune-seeking in the world of oil rigs. The series is an upstairs/downstairs story of roughnecks and wildcat billionaires fueling a boom so big it’s reshaping our climate, our economy, and our geopolitics.”

Billy Bob Thorton in 1883
Photo Credit: Paramount+

Who Will Star in the Series?

For Land Man, Billy Bob Thornton will lead the series, playing oil executive Tommy Norris. Thornton’s casting was announced back in early 2022. The actor has previously appeared in another Sheridan-created series, 1883 as the gunslinger Jim Courtright. In an interview shared by Paramount+, Sheridan revealed that he developed Land Man and the role of Tommy Norris specifically for Thornton.

“When you see writing that good, it really excites you,” said Thornton in response. “It’s about the world of the oil business that we generally don’t see.”

Ali Larter plays Tommy’s ex-wife, Angela, while Michelle Randolph and Jacob Lofland play their children, Ainsley and Cooper Norris. Randolph is also a Sheridan-verse alum, having portrayed Elizabeth Dutton in the Yellowstone prequel 1923.

As of December 2023, casting appears to be ongoing for Land Man. Legacy Casting issued an open call for people who have field experiences as oil and gas workers to serve as background actors for the show. The agency revealed the call in a Facebook post around November 2023.

“Hey all! We’re looking for REAL PEOPLE who have experience as Oil and Gas Workers in the FIELD and would want to possibly be on camera for a MAJOR TV SHOW for Paramount+,” said the post.

Land Man Release Date Speculation

As for when viewers can expect to see Land Man, it’s hard to say. Production for the upcoming show was expected to start in 2023. However, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes pushed back many film and television productions. The strikes were only resolved by September and November, respectively.

With that in mind, filming for Land Man is expected to begin in early 2024 and continue through June 6, 2024, under the working title “Boomtown.” The show will air on Paramount+. According to the Legacy Casting Facebook post announcing the call for background actors, filming is expected to occur mainly in North Texas.

Sheridan has stressed that he does not intend to compromise when telling his stories, including Land Man.

“I spent the first 37 years of my life compromising,” said Sheridan. “When I quit acting, I decided that I am going to tell my stories my way, period. If you don’t want me to tell them, fine. Give them back and I’ll find someone who does – or I won’t, and then I’ll read them in some freaking dinner theater. But I won’t compromise. There is no compromising.”

Taylor Sheridan
Taylor Sheridan / Photo Credit: taniavolobueva

What Else Is Upcoming for Taylor Sheridan?

While viewers wait for the premiere of Land Man, many of Sheridan’s shows are available to rewatch on Paramount+. It’s also important to note that Sheridan recently acquired the bid to the S.C. Gwynne book Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History.

Sheridan sought to win the bid for the project when it was set up at Warner Bros. The book tells the 40-year struggle between the Comanche Tribe and the white settlers for control of the American West. Quanah Parker was the tribe’s greatest chief.

Known for being legendary fighters, the Comanches were able to stop the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico. The tribe’s fighters also stopped French expansion westward from Louisiana. Part of the story in the book centers on Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann Parker.

“I can’t think of anyone better qualified to bring Empire of the Summer Moon to the screen than Taylor Sheridan,” said Gwynne. “He has a deep and nuanced understanding of both the myth and reality of the Old West. I am thrilled that he is undertaking this project.”


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