Yellowstone‘s patriarch, John Dutton, is a powerhouse of a character, a force to be reckoned with, and the heart of the series. When fans first saw Kevin Costner in the role, he was offering mercy to a wounded horse, telling the beautiful creature that it deserved better, but all he could provide was peace.
Moments later, we see him leaning over a fence post near the tragic accident, where he looks upon grazing cows and murmurs, “The things we do to keep you fed.”
Fans immediately realize there’s going to be a lot to keep an eye on with Dutton and Yellowstone as a whole. For the last four seasons, we’ve followed the story of the Dutton family, knowing that John is the person it all revolves around. He’s the breath that starts the ranch in the morning and the voice that calls it quits at the end of the day.
So how does Kevin Costner feel about Yellowstone and his character’s future? Does he want John Dutton to continue on his land-owner journey, or is he ready to hang his hat? Let’s take a look.
Kevin Costner on John Dutton’s Yellowstone future
Costner was very open about what he hopes for his character’s future, and that’s a long life. As the family’s patriarch and the ranch owner, he’s got a lot left on his checklist. He shared the following statement with Extra:
“I don’t want to die… just too much to do. In terms of this story, I don’t know where that’s gonna go… I haven’t really thought about it. Everybody dies, but it’s how you live.”
Costner also admits that he’s yet to speak to Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan about the series’ end. That’s not something he shares to scare fans, but rather to explain the process of writing and crafting the series.
“I don’t because I think probably, in some way, we’re making it up…I think what comes on the page will be the thing that I look at.”
Yellowstone is unfolding and existing in a realm all its own, it’s being worked day by day, and Costner is happy to play the wait-and-see game. That being said, if he ever decides the sun is ready to set on good ol’ John Dutton, he knows he can have that conversation.
“I think that he’s been writing a really high level. I’ll say when I don’t want to do it anymore,” Costner said. Luckily, fans shouldn’t anticipate saying goodbye to Dutton anytime soon. He’s still as passionate about the series as the fans who watch it. We’ve still got a lot to learn about Dutton, he’s going to have a lot to work through as he deals with the excitement at the end of season 4, and Costner enjoys the cowboy game too much to give it up.
Who is John Dutton?
So, who is John Dutton? If you’re familiar with Yellowstone, this answer is both an easy one and a layered one. He’s a father and the owner of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. He’s a friend to some and an enemy to others; he’s rough around the edges but soft-hearted when it counts. Dutton is a man who will do anything for his family — that was evident from the first episode and has remained a focus in each moment throughout the series since.
Dutton’s path has been far from easy, and the strife with those closest to him was another thing fans quickly caught on to. He’s a stern man, and for all the protection he vows to give, there are times when he forgets to love them properly. It’s a risk he takes willingly, a choice he makes knowing the outcome might not go in his favor, and sometimes, the tough decisions are the hardest ones to make, and they don’t end with you being the most popular person in the room.
Dutton doesn’t really care if he’s well-liked; it just might be his least pressing concern. Dutton cares that the ranch stays in his family, that it remains untouched by those who wish to do him harm, and that his loved ones are protected — whether or not they like him for it.
As each season unfolds, we peel back the layers of the patriarch, the man who understands the ins and outs of everything that happens on the ranch and near it. Dutton has built bridges he never thought he’d make, bonded with people he never intended to get to know, and allowed more light and love into his life as of late. Dutton is still rugged, still all work and very little play, but he’s a man who seems to enjoy the fruits of his labor with a bit more zest these days. That’s likely because he’s faced several life-or-death situations throughout Yellowstone so far.
When season five rolls around, we’re going to continue to see growth, change, and stubborn sensibility in Dutton — and hopefully, a lot more horse rides into the sunrise.
What does Costner’s family think about John Dutton
In the same Extra interview, Costner was asked if his family and his wife are as invested in Yellowstone as the rest of us, and his response was quite hilarious.
“No, it’s too naughty for them to see, and they probably do figure out how to see it, but it’s got some nasty little bits that are good fun for everyone else.”
Costner’s family might be the only ones who aren’t as dialed into Yellowstone as the rest of the pop culture realm, or at least some of them. We’re sure his wife is a fan of Yellowstone and the ferocity of her husband’s portrayal of the character. John Dutton does rock a cowboy hat and wranglers, as well as the rest of them.
Yellowstone isn’t the only thing his children aren’t watching just yet; Costner notes that many of his roles are things he hopes they see later in life — but he’ll keep them close to his chest for now. While Dutton, of all characters, is indeed a family man, he’s not your run-of-the-mill father figure.
Yellowstone‘s first four seasons are streaming now on Peacock, with the fifth set to debut on Paramount on November 13.