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Kevin Costner Breaks His Silence About His Yellowstone Fate for the First Time

john dutton on yellowstone
Kevin Costner Breaks His SilenceEmerson Miller for Paramount

It's been almost a year since Kevin Costner announced his rather unceremonious exit from Yellowstone, the hit Western drama he'd starred in for five seasons. Shortly thereafter, the series announced it would also be ending, once the final episodes of the fifth season were completed, but since then many details about the show's conclusion have remained up in the air.

One of the chief concerns for fans? Whether or not Costner's character, John Dutton, would be appearing in the remaining episodes. Now, after months of remaining mum on the subject, Costner has finally broken his silence while promoting his upcoming film Horizon: An American Saga, but whether fans will find the news welcome or not is another matter.

"I'd like to be able to do it," Costner told ET when asked about appearing in the upcoming series finale, "but we haven't been able to." Though that sounds like a very definite 'no' to John Dutton appearing in the remained of season five, Costner may have bolstered hopes a bit with some of his thoughts about returning to the Dutton universe. "I thought I was going to make seven [seasons] but right now we're at five. So how it works out—I hope it does—but they've got a lot of different shows going on. Maybe it will. Maybe this will circle back to me. If it does and I feel really comfortable with [it], I'd love to do it."


The sentiment seems to echo a report from Puck earlier this year that said Costner had been telling people that he planned to return to the show in some capacity—the publication added, "there are currently no discussions for him to do that."

As for the future of his character, and how John's story might wrap up, Costner shared with ET, "Well, you know, he needs to be proactive in what happens and I've kind of had my own fantasy how it might be, but that's [show creator Taylor Sheridan]'s thing. I said as much to him a while back. I had thoughts how it could happen, but we just have to see."

So far, Sheridan has been few indications of how he plans to handle the Dutton patriarch beyond telling the Hollywood Reporter in 2023, "I don’t do fuck-you car crashes." (An apparent reference to the death of Patrick Dempsey's Grey's Anatomy character, who was killed in a car crash following behind-the-scenes drama.) "Whether [Dutton’s fate] inflates [Costner’s] ego or insults is collateral damage that I don’t factor in with regard to storytelling." However, as Costner's contract with the show evidently includes a "moral death" clause, precluding him from being killed off in ways that would cause shame or embarrassment to the character, that was likely a remote possibility anyway.

As for what will happen to John Dutton, we may have to wait for series's final episodes—scheduled to begin filming this spring—to know for certain.

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