Cole Hauser, Kelly Reilly, and Luke Grimes Are Reportedly Still in Talks for the Yellowstone Spin-off

beth dutton and rip wheeler from yellowstone
Matthew McConaughey Has a Yellowstone Spin-offParamount

For a year, rumors have circulated about a new Yellowstone spin-off, and ever since, speculation has run rampant. In November 2023, an announcement from Paramount revealed the premiere date for the final episodes of Yellowstone and also confirmed that the new spin-off show will appear following the flagship show's conclusion. Along with the news that the second half of season five of Yellowstone will hit screens in November 2024, Paramount revealed that two new shows set in the Dutton universe are in the works: a prequel, 1944, and the apparent spin-off, 2024.

Here's what we know so far about the series:

Matthew McConaughey could be in the leading role

Since long before the show had a working title, Matthew McConaughey was rumored to be eyeing a lead role on the series. In a March 2023 interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Media Networks head Chris McCarthy confirmed that McConaughey would be joining the Yellowstone universe, though subsequent reporting has suggested he hasn't signed any contracts yet. However, as the months have dragged on with no official casting announcements, fans have begun to wonder whether the star will indeed be taking on a Dutton mantle after all.

According to a January 2024 rumor, McConaughey, who still has not penned an official deal for the show, is supposedly growing frustrated with the long contract negotiations process and may even be reconsidering his participation. An unnamed insider supposedly told Life & Style, "No deal has ever taken this long for Matthew." They explained that the actor, who is reportedly asking for $2.5 million per episode, has been unable to accept other projects that could potentially conflict with the show's filming and "doesn’t have clarity on when exactly this job would even start."

Show creator Taylor Sheridan is also supposedly a factor. The writer, who was said to have butted heads with former Yellowstone headliner Kevin Costner, has "a reputation for being a jerk with a 'God complex,'" the insider stated, adding, "Matthew doesn’t particularly like behind-the-scenes drama."

In February 2024, Puck's Matthew Belloni reported that McConaughey "is still the top choice to star, but reports of his commitment to the project are overstated." Belloni added that, per the star's agent, he has refused to sign on to the project until he can see a script, which has not been provided yet.

Originally, when speculation of McConaughey's involvement in the Yellowstone-verse started, it was suggested that he could be coming onto the flagship show as a replacement for Kevin Costner, who, rumor has it, had been unsatisfied with the show's shooting schedule. Paramount's McCarthy revealed that the spin-off would be moving forward regardless of whether Costner returned as Yellowstone's patriarch John Dutton for the remainder of the show's fifth, and now final, season—a question that remains up in the air, as the show still hasn't begun filming its final episodes.

"We have no news to report," Paramount stated in February 2023 when the rumors about McConaughey first surfaced. "Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner."

In May 2023, Paramount officially announced the news of the untitled Yellowstone sequel, as well as that the main show would end after the second half of season five. David Glasser, the CEO of 101 studios, said in a statement, "The Dutton story continues, picking up where Yellowstone leaves off in another epic tale. We are thrilled to bring this new journey to audiences around the world." McConaughey's casting was not confirmed.

Cole Hauser, Kelly Reilly, and Luke Grimes are in talks to join the series.

Deadline reported in May 2023 that McConaughey "is expected to be joined by handful of original Yellowstone cast members." Exactly which stars those might be has been a source of interest for fans ever since, and it appears that there is a possibility that the roster could include three fan-favorites from the original show: Cole Hauser, who plays the show's brooding ranch hand Rip, Kelly Reilly, who stars as the sole Dutton daughter Beth, and Luke Grimes, who plays the youngest Dutton son, Kayce.

According to a February 2024 report by Puck, the show wasn't originally designed to include characters from the main show, but after it was decided to end Yellowstone's flagship, the idea was reworked to allow some of the actors to move on to the spin-off. However, in true Yellowstone fashion, there's reportedly been some behind the scenes friction over the issue.

Per Puck, the stars have asked for a higher payday to return to the spin-off (they will all, apparently, also be paid for the now-cancelled season six of Yellowstone as part of previous contact stipulations) with claims suggesting that the performers are seeking as much as $1.5 million per episode. Initially, Puck reported that it was planned for negotiations to be completed in mid-February, which would determine if any of the actors will return for the spin-off, however, in a March update, the publication said that negotiations were still ongoing.

In a 2023 interview with THR, Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan confirmed that the show will have "Yellowstone" in the title (2024 was only announced as a working title) he said, "My idea of a spinoff is the same as my idea of a prequel — read into that what you will." The publication reports that Sheridan nodded when asked if that meant that the new series would be a stand-alone story. "There are lots of places where a way of life that existed for 150 years is slamming against a new way of life, but the challenges are completely different. There are a lot of places you can tell this story." However, Sheridan also admitted that he had only worked out "the broadest strokes" of the spin-off at the time.

As for McConaughey himself, Sheridan commented, "He seems like a natural fit. We had a few conversations over the years, and spitballed a few ideas. Then he started watching Yellowstone and responded to it. He was like, ‘I want to do that.’ And by ‘that’ he meant diving into a raw world clashing up against the modern world. And then I said, ‘Buddy, that we can do.’"

Michelle Pfeiffer is rumored to join the cast

Along with the other casting news, Puck also reported in February 2024 that Michelle Pfeiffer is in talks to take on the role of the female lead in the series, though no other information on the character was revealed. By March 2024, the publication reported that both Pfeiffer and McConaughey remain favorites for the series, though neither were officially onboard.

McConaughey has shared his thoughts on John Dutton

In June 2023, the actor opened up for the first time with his thoughts about the original series and its main character, John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner. "One way you could explain Yellowstone and Costner’s role is what will men do to protect land and family in a world that is trying to encroach?" McConaughey reportedly said on the Lex Fridman Podcast. "I admire that simplicity of right and wrong."

He added, "It’s a little bit of, ‘If the law ain’t handling this, I am.’ And then it is, ‘The law’s not going to handle it, therefore I am.’ Then it’s, ‘I’m handling this. The law? Talk to them when you get to them. I’m handling this.'"

When will the series debut?

The show is set to premiere following the Yellowstone finale, but no specific date has been announced.

We'll update this as soon as we learn more about the Yellowstone sequel.

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