‘Yellowstone’ TV: What Happens If Kevin Costner Exits Show Following Season 4?

by Thad Mitchell

It isn’t a pleasant thought for “Yellowstone” fans to think of the show without Kevin Costner’s lead character John Dutton.

The mere image of a John Dutton-less Yellowstone Ranch is enough to provide nightmares for some fans of the show. Still, it is a question that must be asked and that is: “What if Kevin Costner leaves the show?”

Costner plays the rugged ranch owner John Dutton to near perfection, almost as if Dutton was already a part of him. Dutton is the grizzled owner of Yellowstone Ranch and rules his property with an iron fist. Many of times, we have seen characters run afoul of Dutton and face the wrath of a man sworn to protect what is his. Just ask the motorcycle club from season three or the Montana Militia from season two what happens when Dutton sets eyes on a target. The Dutton family patriarch has shown time and time again that he is willing to go to great lengths to protect his land — including murder.

But season three did not end in a favorable position for Dutton or his two children, Kayce and Beth. We last saw John attempting to help a stranded motorist change a flat tire. An unknown attacker then ambushes John, shooting him several times in the chest before speeding off in a van. Most Yellowstone watchers believe John survives the attack thanks to a well placed cell phone in his shirt pocket. Still, John’s fate has yet to be revealed and won’t be until the start of season four in a few months. Kayce and Beth didn’t fare much better as each came under attack in the finale and, like John, their lives hand in the balance.

Yellowstone Ranch Wouldn’t be the Same Without Costner

It is entirely possible that Kevin Costner walks away from Yellowstone after or during season four. No one knows if his character is currently dead, alive or somewhere in between.

Away from the hit Paramount Network series, Costner has a new project in the works. His newest project, “National Parks” recently got the green light from television network ABC. Costner will write and co-produce the series and is likely to have an acting role in crime drama as well. It is safe to say that Costner has a lot on his plate and it is plausible that Yellowstone takes a back seat for Costner.

Obviously the loss of Costner would be a huge blow to Yellowstone. As Dutton is the show’s primary protagonist, a new character would need to emerge to fill those shows. Some fans speculate John will leave the ranch to one of his children with Beth being the popular choice. One interesting theory says John’s exit could lead to a power struggle among the Dutton siblings. With Jamie, Beth and Kayce all having a claim to the ranch, it could definitely get messy on Yellowstone.

Yellowstone fans certainly wish it doesn’t get to that point and hope Costner remains a big part of the show. Only time will tell what is in store for the hit modern western and with an expected summer start date — answers are coming soon.