"The Dutton story continues, picking up where Yellowstone leaves off in another epic tale."
For months, rumors circulated that Matthew McConaughey was poised to enter the Yellowstone universe, and following the official confirmation that McConaughey is indeed lined up for a spin-off (he is reportedly still in final negotiations), speculation has run rampant as to the nature of the new show.
Along with the news that Yellowstone would be ending, Deadline reported in May 2023 that the star "is expected to be joined by handful of original Yellowstone cast members." However, in an interview with THR, Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan seemed to indicate that the show could have an entirely new cast and setting.
Though he confirmed that the show will have "Yellowstone" in the title, Sheridan said, "My idea of a spinoff is the same as my idea of a prequel — read into that what you will." The publication reports that Sheridan nodded when asked if that meant that the new series would be a stand-alone story. "There are lots of places where a way of life that existed for 150 years is slamming against a new way of life, but the challenges are completely different. There are a lot of places you can tell this story."
As for McConaughey himself, Sheridan commented, "He seems like a natural fit. We had a few conversations over the years, and spitballed a few ideas. Then he started watching Yellowstone and responded to it. He was like, 'I want to do that.' And by 'that' he meant diving into a raw world clashing up against the modern world. And then I said, 'Buddy, that we can do.'"
McConaughey has shared his thoughts on John Dutton
In June 2023, the actor opened up for the first time with his thoughts about the original series and its main character, John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner.
"One way you could explain Yellowstone and Costner's role is what will men do to protect land and family in a world that is trying to encroach?" McConaughey reportedly said on the Lex Fridman Podcast. "I admire that simplicity of right and wrong."
He added, "It's a little bit of, 'If the law ain't handling this, I am.' And then it is, 'The law's not going to handle it, therefore I am.' Then it's, 'I'm handling this. The law? Talk to them when you get to them. I'm handling this.'"
McConaughey is reportedly in final negotiations for the series
In March 2023 interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Media Networks head Chris McCarthy confirmed that McConaughey would be joining the Yellowstone universe, though subsequent reporting has suggested he hasn't signed any contracts yet.
Originally, when speculation of McConaughey's involvement in the Yellowstone-verse started, it was suggested that he could be coming onto the flagship show as a replacement for Costner, who, rumor has it, had been unsatisfied with the show's shooting schedule. McCarthy revealed that the spin-off would be moving forward regardless of whether Kevin Costner returns as Yellowstone's patriarch John Dutton for the remainder of the show's fifth, and now final, season—a question that remains up in the air, as the show still hasn't begun filming its final episodes.
In May 2023, Paramount officially announced the news of the untitled Yellowstone sequel, as well as that the main show would end after the second half of season five. David Glasser, the CEO of 101 studios, said in a statement, "The Dutton story continues, picking up where Yellowstone leaves off in another epic tale. We are thrilled to bring this new journey to audiences around the world." McConaughey's casting was not confirmed.
When will the series debut?
The show is set to premiere in December 2023, but due to the current writer's strike in Hollywood and a potential actor's strike looming, it's unclear how set that date is.
We'll update this as soon as we learn more about the Yellowstone sequel.