The Duttonverse is about to get more dramatic after news of Yellowstone concluding in the summer of 2023 hit the headlines.
As reported by Deadline, the highest-rated cable TV is set to end on the fifth season, and showrunner Taylor Sheridan along with Paramount Global and Paramount Network, are eyeing another franchise extension with HBO’s True Detective star Matthew McConaughey as the lead. And the alleged reason behind this were disagreements over shooting schedules with Kevin Costner.
According to the online news site’s sources, Costner, who plays the main character John Dutton, has reportedly cut down his shooting days from his original 65 days to 50 for the first installment of the current season. And then for the second part, he wanted to cut it down even more to a week. That is, the actor has been busy producing, directing, and acting in his four-part Western film “Horizon” – which he also co-wrote with Jon Baird – under Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line. Costner’s 13-year-old son Hayes also joins the cast as his namesake character. Part one, filmed in Southern Utah, has been completed late last year, and the production for the second will start in Spring 2023.
This has caused frustration for Sheridan and brought morale problems with the rest of the cast, including Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Wes Bentley, Kelsey Asbille, and Gil Birmingham. There were also news that Costner may be leaving the hit series. And another that Costner’s proposal has ultimately driven the executives’ decision to move on from the original series.
But in a statement to CNN, Paramount’s spokesperson cleared the air. “We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come.”
The Rise of a New Era
While the original Yellowstone series may be prematurely ending, there is still so much more in store for fans with spinoffs, prequels, and prequel-sequels up Taylor Sheridan‘s sleeve. Oh, and it gets even more complicated with the timeline, characters, and lineages.
We have already seen the limited run 10-episode prequel 1883 starring country music couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill with Sam Elliot, which showed from December 2021 to February 2022. This was the earliest story of the Duttons, the first generation who came to own the land now called Yellowstone. And currently in the works is 1883’s spinoff 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, which will dramatize the real-life journey of legendary cowboy and first Black US Marshal west of the Mississippi, Bass Reeves, to be portrayed by David Oyelowo. There has been no news yet on its arrival date, but last May 2022, Yellowstone star Denim Richards hinted that the cast may have been filming at Bosque Ranch.
Then there’s the recently released 1923 top-billed by Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford, which is set during the Old West – the time of Western expansion, prohibition, and the Great Depression. The prequel series has been renewed for a second season, but details regarding its release are not yet out.
And another one running on the filming mill is a ‘potential separate contemporary franchise extension’ titled 6666, which will follow the story of the legendary 6666 ranch, now under the name of Taylor Sheridan. Deadline also scooped two new separate limited series set in the 1940s and the ’60s.
Continuing the Dutton Saga
Regarding negotiation talks with Matthew McConaughey to front the new franchise series, Paramount remained tight-lipped and simply expressed their openness to work with the phenomenal actor. And McConaughey hasn’t commented on the hot topic either.
According to an article by Outsider, casting McConaughey made sense, especially as the lead in 6666. First, the actor is from the Lone Star State, where the Four Sixes Ranch is located, and he has been known to be passionate for his fellow Texans, like showrunner and fellow native Taylor Sheridan. Second, many fans have been waiting for the actor’s long overdue foray into the modern Western genre, and Yellowstone would be the perfect entrance.
But here’s what we know so far: The franchise extension is not yet clear as to the story direction – whether McConaughey would be replacing Costner or if it would take a different turn – but the main cast of the original series is potentially reprising their roles. So, if Yellowstone would indeed end by the fifth season, fans would still have the chance to see their favorite characters in another franchise. And the show will premiere on Paramount network and will be available for exclusive streaming on Paramount+.
The highly anticipated second half of Yellowstone Season 5 will be out this summer. Let’s brace ourselves for a rollercoaster of a ride because whatever happens, this will definitely be an epic one.