‘Yellowstone’: Is Kevin Costner Leaving After Season 4?

Production on season 4 of Yellowstone recently wrapped, which means new episodes are coming soon. While fans wait for a premiere date announcement, they’ve been sharing their theories online about who made it out of season 3 alive.

Most are confident that John Dutton (Kevin Costner) will be part of the new season in some capacity. But now some are wondering – is Costner leaving after season 4?

Kevin Costner attends the premiere of Yellowstone on May 30, 2019
‘Yellowstone’ star Kevin Costner | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 finale left three Dutton family members fighting for their lives

At the end of the shocking season 3 finale, the Dutton family was under attack. John – the family patriarch – was helping a woman on the side of the road change a tire when he was suddenly shot by an unknown assailant.

At the same time, his son Kayce (Luke Grimes) was hiding behind his desk in his office from armed, masked gunmen. And, Beth (Kelly Reilly) was in her office when a package with a bomb exploded about six feet from her face.

It doesn’t seem likely that no one will survive. But it’s possible that Yellowstone will move forward into season 4 with one or two less Duttons. All three actors were spotted on set while shooting the most recent season. But, that doesn’t mean they were in scenes that took place in the present day.

Most fans seem to believe that John had the best chance of survival. However, even though the final shot was of him slumped down and taking out his phone, that doesn’t guarantee he made it out alive.

Kevin Costner sparked the rumor that he is leaving

During a recent interview with Good Day New York, Costner was asked if he was returning for season 4 of Yellowstone. Playing coy, the Oscar winner replied, “I can’t say. There’s an ending that you’re gonna see, hopefully it’s a powerful one for you.”

He then went on to say that he likes to make things and be a part of projects that have a dramatic arc to them. Costner also told Yellowstone fans to “just try to enjoy it right up to the end if you can.”

RELATED: Inside Kevin Costner’s Staggering ‘Yellowstone’ Paycheck

Immediately, Costner’s comment caused fans to take to social media. Many shared their theory that Costner is leaving Yellowstone. But, aside from Costner’s cryptic comment, there isn’t any evidence that indicates he’s done with the Paramount series.

Costner was definitely part of the production bubble. He posted on Instagram from the set, and he also said in interviews that going home was “impossible” this season, compared to the first three. Another clue that both John and Kayce survived season 3 is a comment that Grimes made to Monsters and Critics in December.

“Obviously, Kayce and John have a strained relationship when you first meet them,” Grimes said. “And as the series unfolds, you figure out more and more why that is. I think in the last couple of seasons, and even into the upcoming season 4, there’s always a pattern of them mending that, seeing eye-to-eye, and figuring each other out.

Is Kevin Costner leaving ‘Yellowstone’ after season 4?

Even though it appears that Costner will most likely be part of season 3, some fans aren’t convinced John will survive. As Pop Culture points out, there’s a strong possibility that Costner was shooting flashbacks and scenes where John is fighting for his life. There’s no guarantee he will survive the assassination attempt and make it past season 4.

If that happens, fans will see a major change to the story. If Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) is behind the attacks, maybe Kayce and Beth team up to take him down. Or, if Jamie wasn’t involved and John dies, it’s possible he will change sides and join his family in the fight to keep their land.

There’s also the question of who would be the new main character, as well as who would run the ranch. Fans aren’t going to know the answers until season 4 actually premieres. Until then, the speculation will definitely continue.

The first three seasons of Yellowstone are available on Peacock. Season 4 is expected to premiere on Paramount Network in June 2021.