Yellowstone Fans Finally Have Evidence That Final Episodes Will Be Filmed Soon, And It Possibly Ties Into John Dutton Situation

 John Dutton and American flag in Yellowstone.
John Dutton and American flag in Yellowstone.

Considering its new episodes regularly pulled in some of television’s biggest viewership numbers, Yellowstone isn’t a show anyone expected to suffer a nearly two-year hiatus in the midst of its fifth season. Yet here we are, with the western drama’s final episodes still unfilmed, but what’s this? Yes, it’s actual evidence that production on the remaining episodes is indeed set to begin very soon, possibly with hints of Kevin Costner’s return as John Dutton.

When Will Yellowstone’s Season 5 Production Finally Start Again?

Paramount Network’s execs announced in November 2023 that the final episodes were set to air starting in November 2024, with two further spinoffs being added to the upcoming Yellowstone series slate in the same announcement. Since that time, reports indicated that Taylor Sheridan & Co. were planning to return to filming in the spring, with April noted early on as a desired window. Now, it’s been confirmed that filming will be underway by Thursday, May 23, though that’s not necessarily the official start date by any means.

Despite the production kicking off a month or so after prior assumptions, that should still give the creative team enough time to knock out filming the remaining installments with enough time to still safely make the November premiere window. Of course, that all comes down to how complicated Sheridan made this final chapter, knowing that the flagship drama would be closing out with whatever goes down. It’s a lot of pressure, by any stretch.

What’s The Evidence Proving Yellowstone Is Filming Soon?

The latest Yellowstone update thankfully doesn’t come from unsubstantiated insiders’ claims, but from an actual show-connected source. The “Yellowstone Extras Casting” Facebook page released its first pair of casting calls for background actors since the initial production hiatus began in September 2022.

The first notice was for a host of different types of extras for a scene that seemingly takes place within a fancy restaurant, which is set to be filmed on Thursday, May 23. Before that, though, the team is looking for someone to serve as a male double with the following attributes: being 5’9”, 125-140 lbs, with brown hair. It’s not 100% clear if that workday will include filming scenes, but it’s only for the one day, so it would appear so.

Perhaps worth noting: while the upscale restaurant filming is set to take place in Missoula, the other assignment is set for Sula, a small community located near the Idaho border that was only formally established via census in 2010, despite first attaining its distinct name around 1889. It’s a spot known to give visitors plenty of chances to ski and hike down and up the area’s mountains, with the Lost Trail Hot Springs offering a peaceful respite from more intense activities.

How Do The New Details Hint At Kevin Costner’s Return As John Dutton?

Though it seemed for many months as if Kevin Costner’s John Dutton would be written out of the mothership drama without the Oscar-winning actor returning, as a result of his rumored feuding with co-creator Taylor Sheridan behind the scenes. Costner then spun those expectations upside-down by revealing he wants to return if possible, though no one else involved with the show has shed any light on whether or not it’s actually happening.

And so it’s extremely curious that the casting call for the restaurant scene includes this general request:

Category: Men in suits ( secret service types/ex military)

Obviously, the notice saying “Secret Service type” doesn’t absolutely mean that the show is casting Secret Service agents. But if that’s the point here, then there are only a few ways for those kinds of characters to be implemented, and the most obvious way ties directly to Montana governor John Dutton showing up at said restaurant. If that’s the situation here, then it could indicate Costner having a much larger presence in the final episodes than expected, with the extended assumption that this wouldn’t be the only scene the actor films for Season 5.

Other explanations exist for why Yellowstone would bring in ex-militant Secret Service agents that have zilch to do with John Dutton, such as a visit from former governor Lynelle Perry, as portrayed by Wendy Moniz. (Even if it’s pretty rare for her to appear in a scene without John around.) It’s even possible that the actors being cast for these parts will be tasked with delivering the news that John was killed or injured, if that’s the route that Taylor Sheridan wanted to go with the story without bringing Costner back into the fold.

The potential is also there for the restaurant scene to take place for a flashback scene that includes Josh Lucas returning as younger John Dutton, with the Secret Service grunts not being directly related to the rancher’s presence at all. But even with all those alternate outcomes, I’m still sticking to the hopes that Governor John Dutton will be back on our screen with Costner’s familiar face back under the brim of a cowboy hat. (After his upcoming movie Horizon: An American Saga, that is.)

Stay tuned for more updates on Yellowstone Season 5's production, and stream all the currently available episodes with a Peacock subscription.