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Josh Lucas Teases Return As Young John Dutton

It looks like John Dutton will be back on the ranch in the second half of season 5; it just may not be the John who fans were expecting.

Josh Lucas told Deadline Thursday that “as far as he knows,” he will be reprising his role as a young John Dutton on Yellowstone, which is expected to soon return to production. The second half of season 5 will premiere on Paramount Network in November.

“I did text Taylor [Sheridan] a couple of months back and said, ‘hey man, I’ve loved working on the show so much. He’s like, ‘well we’ll be back.”

Lucas also said the plan is to make “10 or more so episodes” for the final chapter.

It is still unclear whether star Kevin Costner will return. As Deadline reported exclusively in February of 2023, his exit was triggered by a dispute over the extent of his availability in Season 5. The crux of the issues involved disagreements between the producers and Costner over shooting schedules. Sources told Deadline at the time that the actor, who originally had limited himself to 65 days of shooting on Yellowstone, only wanted to shoot 50 days for the first part of Season 5. 

During Costner’s divorce hearing in September, the actor suggested that he will “probably go to court” over his Yellowstone exit.

“We did negotiate,” Costner said in court, while noting that he was offered $24 million to do Seasons 5, 6 and 7. “There were issues about creative. I tried to break the logjam. They walked away.”

Costner actually was paid for the fifth season of Yellowstone, which has only filmed the first half of the cycle. Based on his compensation, it seems the $24 million the actor was referring to in court was for the sixth and seventh seasons only.

Yellowstone was originally slated to end its run with Season 5 Part 2 premiering in November of 2023, followed by the debut of the contemporary spinoff 2024 in December. The launches were pushed to later this year after the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes delayed production on both dramas.

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