Yellowstone: Matthew McConaughey can’t fill departing Kevin Costner’s franchise boots

In shocking news which broke on Monday afternoon, we may see Yellowstone star Kevin Costner, depart the franchise as soon as the end of this season, in favor of an “extension” starring Matthew McConaughey. There was reportedly a dispute regarding shooting schedules (report HERE).

While Yellowstone is one of the biggest shows on television and the rest of the cast is also excellent, I can’t see anyone leading the OG show besides Costner. Even an Oscar winning blockbuster talent like McConaughey.

And the rumored spin-off would also have a tall mountain to climb. If the goal is to move the pieces around the board to preserve the feel of the original series, then you can’t do that without Costner.

Kevin Costner is John Dutton. John Dutton is the heart and soul of the modern Yellowstone story. There is no replacing that.

Really, the move to replace Costner with McConaughey doesn’t really even feel right. I would rather watch Kelly Reilly move to the front. Much like Costner before the most recent Golden Globes ceremony, her work has also gone criminally unnoticed.

But, I suppose that show runners want a big name out front like the other programs.

Whatever path they choose to take will likely conclude successfully. I think the success and growth of the Taylor Sheridan universe is proof that there is an audience for this kind of content when done well. A huge audience.

But that huge audience also likes familiarity and they appreciate continuity.

So, let’s push for a different Yellowstone. One that forges its own path and doesn’t try to trample over Costner’s own work over the past years.

And let’s hope that Costner’s departure from the franchise is one that will literally have him riding off into the sunset under John Dutton’s terms.

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