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A Yellowstone Episode Directed By Michael Bay? It Could Happen, And It Needs To

John Dutton in diner on Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Yellowstone continues to cement itself within the ranks of linear TV royalty, with viewership totals and demo ratings that blow most other shows out of the water. It's a show whose explosiveness often comes through character interactions, particularly those involving Kelly Reilly's Beth, but co-creator Taylor Sheridan hasn't exactly shied away from more literal explosions and madcap action during the western drama's first four seasons. But is there ever a point when Michael Bay, the most explosive director in Hollywood, could settle in behind the camera for an episode in Season 5 or beyond? It’s definitely more likely than John Dutton giving up his ranch, I’ll say that.

Michael Bay is currently promoting his first theatrical release in five years with the action thriller Ambulance, which has already become one of Bay’s most well-reviewed movies across his entire career. And while there are probably better ways to celebrate such feats than by traveling to Montana to direct an episode of Yellowstone, there are definitely worse ways. During a screening Q&A (via Collider), Bay expressed his fandom for the Paramount Network series, and revealed that even though jumping into other creators’ worlds isn’t his preference, he would be down to lend his talents to the Dutton family saga. In his words:

Y’know…I would not want to do [something like] Star Wars 5 because…the greatest, the toughest thing for a director to do is to create the world, and I like creating the world. But [directing Yellowstone] might be fun. The horses, and the Stetson hats, and the beautiful landscape…it’s a fun show.

By all means, Michael Bay has certainly introduced audiences to some highly celebrated worlds with such films as Bad Boys, The Rock and the Transformers franchise. So for the most part, he’d rather devote his time to that kind of overarching creative energy, as opposed to figuring out how to make himself comfortably fit into another creator’s vision. Which is why, as he implied, fans shouldn’t expect to see his skills on display within the Star Wars universe at any time. (Although I do love the fact that he thinks the trilogy-geared franchise is somewhere around the fifth film.) 

Just because Michael Bay hasn’t directed any purely western fare shouldn’t count against him in this instance, either, since Yellowstone is as much a modern drama as it is any other genres. (The same couldn’t be said for 1883, of course.) With its gorgeous locations and an abundance of characters who are ready to fight at the mere mention of a hat dropping, not to mention the occasional helicopter or two, Yellowstone would be an extremely interesting sandbox for Bay to mess around with, even if his episode would probably involve disasters and catastrophes that the Dutton family may not be able to walk away from unscathed. Not that this would happen, but how wild would it be if Michael Bay managed to convince Taylor Sheridan to introduce a narrative arc involving an asteroid heading straight for the ranch, Armageddon-style? Is it time yet for Yellowstone to get a What If…? anthology series like the MCU?

At the moment, Taylor Sheridan & Co. haven’t yet started up the Season 5 production process in Montana, and it’s assumed that the early months of 2022 have been spent filming the 6666 spinoff. To that end, with Bay’s promotional run for Ambulance ending ahead of the summer, it is indeed feasible for him and Sheridan to have a sit-down to discuss potentially bringing the blockbuster director to Paradise Valley in the future. And if the now self-aware director wanted to bring over any of his films’ stars, such as Nicolas Cage, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, or Scarlett Johansson, then that would be amazing. 

With Ambulance proving that Michael Bay can work just as easily with a lower budget as a monster one, Yellowstone could be a rocking next step in his career, should he so choose to follow in Taylor Sheridan’s boot-steps. And even though his episode might make things ever so slightly more unbelievable to Kevin Costner, how badass would it be to see Bay pull of a hectic car chase but with cowboys on horseback instead of behind the wheel?

Ambulance is now in theaters everywhere, while Yellowstone can be streamed in its current entirety, including Season 4, on Peacock. 

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.