In an era of wild speculation, rumor, and rumor on rumor, the world of television isn’t immune to its fair share of conjectures. Take, for example, the impending departure of Hollywood heavyweight Kevin Costner from the acclaimed series, “Yellowstone”. A cadre of die-hard fans have dug deep into the series’ plots, looking for clues about Costner’s exit, and they think they’ve found them. They’re ready for a revolt; they’ve even come up with a trending online theory about how Coster’s character, John Dutton, will bid farewell to the ranching dynasty he has built on the Paramount Plus series.
The series has been a breakout success for the streaming platform, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats since its debut in 2018. Costner’s captivating portrayal of patriarch John Dutton brought depth and gravity to the saga. All has not been well, though, behind the scenes, as scheduling conflicts have caused what is set to be a monumental shake-up in the show’s narrative.
Fans have hypothesized that the beleaguered cattle rancher’s exit might be related to his previously battled colon cancer. This theory finds its roots in the story arc of the first season where Dutton nearly succumbs to the disease, only to bounce back after a successful operation. Further fuel was added when the series duped viewers with the possibility of Dutton’s cancer relapse, veiling it as a mere ulcer.
Such a dramatic exit could potentially comply with Costner’s “moral death clause” within his contract. The clause, meant to uphold Dutton’s honor, ensures his character’s death doesn’t cause him shame or embarrassment. Certain that Dutton’s passing in such a manner would not dishonor his character’s legacy, fans have begun speculating that Dutton’s departure won’t be witnessed. Instead, drama around his family’s attempt to preserve his ranching empire would play out.
However, Costner’s departure from the series corresponded with controversy outside the screen. The actor cited scheduling conflicts between the series’ production in two parts – 5A and 5B, and his commitment to his movie ‘Horizon’ as the reason for leaving. The double commitment, Costner said, led Paramount Plus to “walk away” from negotiations.
The second part of season five was also impacted by the subsequent writers and actors strike, adding to the production halt led by Costner’s departure. However, the actor’s performance on the show was not without its accolades. Scoring a Golden Globe in 2023, Costner became the face of the major victory for “Yellowstone”.
As we approach the second half of Season 5’s debut, fans are left with a sense of dread and anticipation. They are left to grapple with the possible ways Costner’s character could exit the show. However, only time will tell if their theories hold any merit. Their beloved hero’s valiant struggle with cancer, his triumph, and his potential fall, would undoubtedly put the series on a path unprecedented, forcing viewers to confront the cruel inevitabilities that come with running a ranching empire.