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Why A Young John Dutton Show Could Be Better Than Yellowstone Season 6

Kevin Costner may exit Yellowstone before a sixth season can happen, but a Josh Lucas-fronted John Dutton prequel could be a better option anyway.

A Josh Lucas-fronted Yellowstone prequel could work better than a sixth season. Despite being one of the most popular shows in America, the future of Yellowstone is currently in doubt. The Kevin Costner starring drama follows the powerful Dutton family as they fight to hold on to the titular Montana ranch. However, recent reports suggest Costner might exit the show, due to his commitment to upcoming Western movie series Horizon and clashes with Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. That said, the property may have already outgrown its parent series.

Popular as Yellowstone is, it didn’t receive the critical acclaim that greeted its prequel 1883, which detailed how the Dutton family established the ranch. Sequel series 1923 further explores how the Dutton’s ancestors tried to maintain a tight grip on the land, while Sheridan has other spinoffs in the works such as Bass Reeves and 6666. In other words, Sheridan’s Yellowstone universe continues to expand and evolve beyond the original show, and could easily survive the exit of Costner’s John Dutton. While that’s not the ideal outcome – as Costner is a huge part of Yellowstone’s success – it would leave room for a “young” John Dutton show too.

The Case For A John Dutton Yellowstone Prequel
Lucas came very close to becoming a movie star in the early 2000s thanks to films like Sweet Home Alabama, but a string of box-office duds like Stealth and Poseidon put paid to those plans. Lucas reinvented himself as a character actor in the years that followed and appeared in Yellowstone’s first two seasons as a younger version of John Dutton. Despite his brief screen time he made a major impression and is a favorite among audiences. If Yellowstone ends with season 5, there’s a case to be made that Dutton’s adventures could continue in the form of a prequel led by Lucas.

Given that Sheridan seems determined to explore different timelines of his little universe, there’s no reason a series exploring the ranch during the ’90s couldn’t work. Lucas is excellent as a (slightly) more idealistic version of Dutton, and charting how he changes following his wife’s untimely demise holds a lot of potential. A “young” John show fits in with the franchise’s broader plan of exploring different generations of the Dutton clan, and his relationship with his own father John Dutton Jr is ripe for exploration. If Yellowstone season 5 is the end for Costner’s Dutton, a prequel is a great way to keep him at the center of the franchise.

Will Kevin Costner Leave Yellowstone?
A Puck report suggests that Costner and TV show king Sheridan may have been at odds creatively for years and that the filming of season 5 has been a breaking point. They’re both headstrong creatives, and with Horizon, Costner has sought to move on to other projects. In short, it appears the actor is ready to move beyond Yellowstone, and unless he reaches a deal that benefits him, he’s likely going to leave. Reportedly, a new character played by Matthew McConaughey will lead a Yellowstone spinoff if Costner does exit, but there’s little doubt the franchise will survive either way.


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