Kevin CostnerYellowstone

5 Ways to Spin Off ‘Yellowstone’ Without John Dutton

Just in case Paramount needs any ideas, here are some thoughts on how the spin-off party can continue without Kevin Costner.


Just like the Dutton ranch, the Yellowstone universe is vast and full of possibilities. That remains true even as the mother show prepares to end after Season 5.

After months of reports that star Kevin Costner refused to agree on a filming schedule for the back half of the fifth season, Paramount announced that the show’s final batch of episodes will premiere in the fall, while a sequel spin-off will premiere in December. There is no other information on that sequel series just yet, but considering the breadth of spin-offs we’ve already watched or have been promised, there are practically endless options.

So far, we’ve met the first Duttons to arrive in Montana in 1883, and we’ve caught up with the family 40 years later in 1923. Season 2 of 1923 will continue that story, followed by the series 6666, about a high profile ranch in Texas. Lawmen: Bass Reeves was originally announced as a spin-off to 1883, and there are rumors of a 1944 spin-off, too.

Just as there’s clearly plenty of story before John Dutton, there can be plenty to follow up on after him, too. Whether he dies or simply retires at the end of Yellowstone, that doesn’t mean the story has to end. It could actually be just the beginning.

As the franchise continues to move forward, The Messenger has several suggestions for spin-offs — all of which require minimal to zero participation from Kevin Costner.

1. 1993 

Josh Lucas has already made his mark as young John Dutton, so why not follow up 1883 and 1923 with 1993, when John and his wife Evelyn are happily raising their little band of cowboys with no idea that Evelyn will die from falling off of a horse in 1997. Young Evelyn (Gretchen Mol) serves as the narrator (like Elsa in 1923), and the whole show ends with a flashforward to older John joining his wife on the big horse ranch in the sky (assuming the character dies in Yellowstone, of course).

2. Rip Rules 

In this spin-off concept, Beth (Kelly Reilly) gets a job as a studio executive, tasked with reviving the Western genre. She moves with Rip (Cole Hauser) and Carter (Finn Little) to Los Angeles, which is practically a foreign country, and buys her husband a rustic bar to give him a purpose in this strange land. He thinks he’s giving himself a home away from his Montana home, but the trendy L.A. crowd decides it’s the new hotspot, and Rip becomes a reluctant father figure to a bunch of aspiring actors with questionable work ethics. It’s Yellowstone meets Vanderpump Rules, and Rip is the new Lisa Vanderpump.


3. The New Duttons

Here, Jamie’s (Wes Bentley) grand plans to secure a piece of the Dutton land for his own son have somehow worked, and now this angry, embattled politician is faced with determining the kind of empire he wants to build. His own family history might be a fiery disaster, but maybe he can secure a better, more loving life for his son. Unfortunately, Jamie’s new wife — a New York socialite who loves him very much — is struggling to adjust to life on the ranch, and with being in such close proximity to the mother of Jamie’s kid.

4. The Last Duttons 

This version would take place 30 years after John’s death, when Tate Dutton returns to what remains of the Yellowstone ranch, alongside his wife and daughters. Most of the land has been sold off and repurposed, but it’s not all gone. He vows to both return it to its former glory and honor his Indigenous heritage, but if John thought it was tough to run a ranch in the changing times of the 2020s, imagine how hard it is in the 2050s, when artificial intelligence is king. Plus, Tate is in an ever-changing feud/alliance with his cousin and neighbor, Jamie Dutton Jr., a young man who has somehow mastered the art of combining old school ranching with new school technology.

5. The Bunkhouse Boys 

Last but not least, this spin-off finds ranch hands Walker (Ryan Bingham), Ryan (Ian Bohen), Teeter (Jen Landon) and Colby (Denim Richards) starting a new bunkhouse tradition of performing at local open mic nights, one of which is attended by a record executive on vacation. They officially form a band called The Bunkhouse Boys and are launched into stardom, but it’s not an easy rise for a bunch of former ranch hands. They’ll find out just how strong that Dutton brand is as fame threatens to tear them apart, but don’t let that make you think this isn’t a comedy. We’re not putting Teeter in a drama!

You can watch all previous episodes of Yellowstone on Peacock. New episodes will premiere in November.


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