It’s been pretty widely reported that Matthew McConaughey is in line to take the reins (cowboy pun intended) from Kevin Costner following the conclusion of Taylor Sheridan’s flagship series Yellowstone.The western drama has become one of the most popular shows on TV, resulting in a number of spinoffs (as well as a blank check for Taylor Sheridan), but it is sadly coming to an end following Season 5 Part 2.
The relationship has reportedly deteriorated between Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner as complexities in filming schedules and production delays have continued to cause issues for Costner who wants time to film his own western project, Horizon.Costner has argued that Sheridan is late on scripts, Sheridan says Costner is demanding more money… who knows what is really going on, all we know is that Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2 is set to premiere this coming November, and as of right now, Costner won’t be in it.
Although, thanks to a “moral death clause” in his contract (how is that even a thing?) Sheridan won’t be able to kill off John Dutton in a humiliating way… not that I would take Sheridan for the type to compromise his work out of spite.
A spinoff series has been green-lit to continue the modern-day Dutton story (while the second season of 1923 and upcoming 1944 continue to dive into the early years of the Dutton story), and Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is being courted for the lead. However, that is reportedly FAR from set in stone.
According to Hollywood insider Matt Belloni of Puck News,McConaughey won’t be singing on for anything “until he sees a script.” And with Sheridan working on more than half a dozen projects at once, who knows when that’ll happen. There’s a chance they could move on from McConaughey all together. In other spinoff news, Michelle Pfeiffer is in talks to play a new female lead, and it seems like that might even be more of a lock than McConaughey right now.
It was also revealed that a number of Yellowstone stars could make their way into the spinoff series, however according to Belloni, most of the heavy hitters in the cast want a big raise to participate. Cole Hauser who plays Rip Wheeler and Kelly Reilly who plays Beth Dutton both want more money to bridge the gap between the shows, and Luke Grimes, who plays Kayce Dutton is also in talks to join the cast.
All of that to say I think the shine is off the apple at this point. The prequel series are still pretty cool, but maybe it’s time to just let the ship sail on the modern-day Yellowstone? After all this waiting around, and the current stars not sounding overly sold on the project, McConaughey up in the air… it might be time to just let a good thing die.
Paramount is going to want answers ASAP so I’m sure we’ll find out sooner rather than later.
Mapping Out The Dutton Family Tree
With the second installment to the Yellowstone prequels underway, we’re getting another look into the history of the Dutton Family.
Following 1883, the next part of the story picks up in 1923, as we see the next generation of Dutton struggle to maintain ranch life at the newly constructed Dutton Ranch.
According to the official synopsis:
“1923 focuses on the Dutton family’s next two generations as they struggle to survive historic drought, lawlessness and prohibition, and an epidemic of cattle theft; all battled beneath the cloud of Montana’s great depression, which preceded the nation by almost a decade.”
The first season of 1923 has wrapped and we’re expecting a second season in the near future, or not so near future depending on how all this writer’s strike stuff goes. The SAG-AFTRA strike also means that Yellowstone won’t be returning for a long time either.
We’ll get into all that chaos with Kevin Costner another time, but for now, this new chapter of the Dutton saga might have some of you confused about the family tree of the Dutton family.
And honestly, when I went looking for a Dutton family tree, I had a hard time finding an accurate one (or, at least what I believe to be an accurate one). So, we made our own…
Of course, not everything is 100% clear, but with the first season of 1923 n the books, and another on the way, I’m sure some more information will come to light. And we will get into some details so if you haven’t watched 1883 or 1923 yet, you might want to stop at the graphic.
But without further ado… mapping out the entire Dutton family, from 1883, to today.
The original patriarch of the Dutton Family, James (Tim McGraw) was a farmer from Tennessee who took his family out west in search of a new life. The husband of Margaret Dutton and father of Elsa, John and Spencer, he chose to establish the modern day Dutton Ranch where his daughter Elsa passed away.
The original matriarch of the Dutton Family, Margaret (Faith Hill) is married to James Dutton and the mother of Elsa, John and Spencer Dutton.
Elsa (Isabel May) was the eldest child of James and Margaret Dutton. She also serves as the narrator of both 1883 and 1923. She was going to marry a cowboy named Ennis, however, he was killed on the journey West. She vowed to return to a Comanche warrior named Sam once her family reached its destination, however she was killed in an attack on the wagon train. The Dutton Ranch property was established where she died, and she was the first to be buried there.
John Dutton (Audie Rick in 1883, James Badge Dale in 1923) is the son of James and Margaret Dutton, brother to Elsa and Spencer. He was just a young boy during the events of 1883, however in 1923, he works alongside his uncle Jacob on the Dutton Ranch. He is married to Emma Dutton, and they have at least one son, Jack. John is tragically killed (in 1923) during an attack from Banner Creighton and his men.
Claire (Dawn Olivieri) is James Dutton’s sister, who joins the journey west with her daughter Mary Abel. A widow, she kills herself once her daughter is killed on the trail.
Jacob (Harrison Ford) is the brother of James Dutton, who becomes the leader of the family once James passes away. He and his wife, Cara Dutton, work to run the ranch with their nephews, John and Spencer, and John’s son Jack.
Cara (Helen Mirren) is the wife of Jacob Dutton. A hard-nosed Irish immigrant, she becomes the matriarch of the Dutton family in 1923, following the passing of Margaret and James.
Spencer (Brandon Sklenar) is the second son of James and Margaret Dutton. Born after the Duttons settled in Montana (and the death of his sister, Elsa), Spencer is a WWI vet who spends time hunting in Africa before returning back to Montana to work the ranch.
Emma (Marley Shelton) is the wife of John Dutton Sr. and the mother of Jack Dutton. Perhaps even more tragically, she kills herself following the death of her husband John.
Jack (Darren Mann) works on the Dutton Ranch alongside his father, John Dutton Sr. and great-uncle, Jacob Dutton. He is engaged to Elizabeth Strafford, the daughter of another notable rancher.
My suspicion is that Jack may be the father of John Dutton II since the “II” title is generally used when the child is named after another relative, not the father. My initial guess was that John Dutton won’t survive 1923 (and he didn’t), and Jack will name his first born son after his late father… John Dutton II. Elizabeth gets pregnant in the first season of 1923, although she sadly miscarries.
That being said, I maintain my hunch that the line runs through Jack.
Elizabeth (Michelle Randolph) is Jack’s fiancée. The two end up postponing their wedding briefly, but are planning on marrying very soon.
An extremely wealthy English socialite, she leaves her fiancé, the the son of the Earl of Sussex, in Africa and runs away with Spencer Dutton. The pair are married at sea on their way back to Montana, and could be the couple where the Dutton line runs through. Alex was sea sick on the boat, but could it be morning sickness? I suppose it is possible but like I said above, my hunch is still Jack.
Either way, the line runs through Jack and Emma, or it runs through Spencer and Alex…. we’ll see.
John Dutton III
The modern day leader of the Dutton family and the current Governor of Montana. He is the father of Lee Dutton, Beth Dutton and Kayce Dutton, and the adoptive father of Jamie Dutton.
Evelyn (Gretchen Mol) is the wife of John Dutton III who passed away in a horseback riding accident when her children were young. She is the mother of Lee, Beth and Kayce Dutton.
Lee (Dave Annable) is the oldest son of John and Evelyn Dutton. The heir to the Dutton Ranch, Lee was killed by Robert Long (Monica’s brother) after an argument broke out over stolen cattle.
Beth (Kelly Reilly) is the daughter of John Dutton III and wife of Rip Wheeler, her father’s ranch foreman and right-hand man. Unable to have children of her own, her and Rip have taken in teenage Carter.
Rip (Cole Hauser) is the Yellowstone foreman and right-hand man of John Dutton III. He came to the Dutton Ranch as an orphaned teenager after he killed his own father (who killed his mother and brother). Teenage sweethearts, he eventually marries John’s daughter, Beth Dutton.
Kayce (Luke Grimes) is the youngest of the Dutton siblings, and a former Navy SEAL. He’s married to Monica Dutton and the father of Tate Dutton and John Dutton IV (deceased).
Monica (Kelsea Asbille) was raised on the Broken Rock Reservation. She is married to Kayce Dutton and the mother of Tate Dutton and John Dutton IV.
Tate (Brecken Merrill) is the oldest son of Kayce and Monica Dutton, the eldest of the 7th generation of Duttons.
John Dutton IV
John Dutton IV is the second son of Kayce and Monica Dutton, who tragically only lived a few hours following complications from an early birth and a car accident.
Jamie (Wes Bentley) is the adopted son of John Dutton III and the black sheep of the Dutton family.
Christina is Jamie’s ex assistant and the mother of his child.
James Dutton Jr.
The son of Jamie Dutton and his ex-girlfriend Christina, Jamie finds out he has a son after the birth.
In that 1893 flashback from Yellowstone Season 4, we see that James has two sons with him, John Sr. (who will be a major character in 1923) and Spencer… Generation Two.
They should be in their forties or so by the time 1923 rolls around and will have children of their own (Generation Three), and John Sr. and Spencer might even have young grandchildren (people got married pretty young back then), so that’s Generation Four.
Now, here’s where it get’s interesting… John Dutton III (born sometime in the 1950s) of Yellowstone would be Generation Five, which means Kayce, Jamie (adopted), the late Lee Dutton, and Beth Dutton would all be Generation Six, and young Tate would be Generation 7.
And that’s exactly what Tim McGraw himself has confirmed.
Tim says he plays the great-great-grandfather of John Dutton in the bonus Blu-ray content:
“I play John Dutton’s great-great-grandfather. Our family is the first to discover Yellowstone and settle it. And in doing that, we are the first to really defend it and fight people off, and try to establish it and then survive.
J.D.’s the patriarch of the family. He’s the guy that had the balls, I guess, to set out and take his family across the country and head up to Montana, and sorta settle this unknown land, this untamed land up there, and turn it into something.”
Of course, which generation of Dutton has implications for the show because in the Season Finale of 1883, Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) is on the verge of death and her father, James Dutton (Tim McGraw) needs to find a place to bury her because wherever they bury her body is where the Dutton family is going to settle.
So Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder, recommends a spot called the Paradise Valley.
But, there’s a catch… the Duttons can’t have it forever.
“Yes, Paradise. Good name. But you know this: that in seven generations, my people will rise up and take it back from you.”
To which James says:
“In seven generations, you can have it.”
Doesn’t bode well for the Dutton family in Yellowstone Season 5, does it?