Yellowstone 2024’s shock rumor proves the show isn’t dead yet

Jessica Cullen
The cast of Yellowstone

Yellowstone will have come to a close by the end of 2024, but only as we know it. In fact, the latest casting rumor surrounding the Yellowstone 2024 spinoff suggests that Taylor Sheridan is doing anything he can to keep the flagship Dutton tale going.

Fans of Sheridan’s hit show will already be in the pre-mourning stage of grief. While we can enjoy the fact that production has finally started on Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2, it’s a bittersweet moment, knowing that it signifies the early end of the show altogether.

But the Dutton bloodline is set to live on through existing and upcoming Yellowstone spinoffs, spanning the past (1923 Season 2 and Yellowstone 1944) to the present (6666 and Yellowstone 2024).

But none of them were set to serve as replacements for the original flagship series that managed to brand itself into Western culture… until now.

The Yellowstone cast joins 2024

On May 28, an insider scoop (via Puck) alleged that Yellowstone 2024 had just saddled up three major Yellowstone cast members: Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, and Luke Grimes. You might also know them as Beth Dutton, Rip Wheeler, and Kayce Dutton.

While this is still unconfirmed by official sources, if true, it’s a sure-fire sign of one of the biggest theories surrounding Yellowstone’s 2024 sequel series: that it’s basically Yellowstone 2.0.

Kelly Reilly and Luke Grimes as Beth and Kayce in Yellowstone

Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock will know that Yellowstone’s foundations crumbled last year after Kevin Costner unexpectedly left the show, with every possible reason from pay disputes to scheduling issues being cited as the cause.

It was announced shortly after that Yellowstone (which, apparently, was on the way to reaching Season 7 at least) had been canceled, and would end with the final Yellowstone episodes to come in Season 5 Part 2. This left fans — and Sheridan — in a pickle. With so many storylines planted and groundwork already laid, how could the show simply end in the span of six episodes?

The Yellowstone game plan

This is where Sheridan might have just proved himself as the maddest, wildest, cleverest cowboy king on television. It was announced in early 2024 that there would be a slate of new spinoffs, including 2024 — which was also confirmed to be a direct sequel to the events of the main show.

Therein lies his cunning: Yellowstone wasn’t “canceled.” It was simply being turned into something else. The inclusion of Beth, Rip, and Kayce only further proves this, suggesting that the events of Season 5 Part 2 will simply roll over into 2024, and perhaps even continue as planned, sans John Dutton.

Whereas most people assumed YS 2024 would skip ahead into future events, or take the characters elsewhere, all signs are pointing to a reconfigured Yellowstone instead.

Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly in Yellowstone

Despite the fact that Costner won’t be returning to the show and left of his own accord, it still keeps Sheridan clean of any complications or legal issues that might arise from keeping Yellowstone going without Costner. (Costner’s contract already allegedly has a complicated death clause, so Sheridan would likely have to step very lightly anyway.)

This claim also supports the idea that Yellowstone won’t necessarily be waylaid by its army of spinoffs. 2024 could actually be a connective tissue to the original show, rather than just transporting the Dutton name through time.

If Sheridan viewers have learned anything from five seasons’ worth of operatic nonsense, it’s that he’s going to write what he wants and he’s not going to be pushed around. If Costner wants to leave Yellowstone, fine — Sheridan will simply kill it, then rebirth it from the ashes in a new form. And he’ll bring back the original cast, too, just to make it burn all the brighter.

For more, check out our guides on 1923 Season 2, 6666, and 1944. You can also read our feature on why Kevin Costner was right to quit Yellowstone for Horizon.