Fans Can't Stop Gushing Over Josh Lucas As Young Kevin Costner In Yellowstone, So Can We Expect A Spinoff?

Young John Dutton in Governor's office on Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Mild spoilers below for Yellowstone’s latest episode, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched!

Three episodes into its fifth season, Yellowstone has put most of its main characters in vice grips of their own making — a begrudged thanks for the quote inspiration, Sheriff Ramsey — with potentially major problems happening both on the ranch and off. But you know what hasn’t been a problem whatsoever, at least for fans? The return of Josh Lucas as the younger version of Kevin Costner’s John Dutton. The Paramount Network western’s flashbacks in Season 5 seem to be setting up an important connection to the current-day timeline, but who’s got time for remembering plotlines when Lucas’ burly mustache and gravelly drawl are bursting forth from the TV? And you better believe the fandom is clamoring for Taylor Sheridan to order up another new prequel focusing on John’s slightly younger years. 

Ahead of the latest episodes, Josh Lucas popped up on Yellowstone as the land-protecting John Dutton three times across Season 1, and once in Season 2, but was absent through the third and fourth. But fans aren’t griping about lost time or anything, and have been rather focused on celebrating the actor’s Costner-esque vibe. We’ll kick things off with another familiar face from the small screen, HGTV star Erin Napier, whose show Home Town will finally debut Season 7 in early December. Here’s what she had to say:

I dare say a bit of performative fear was struck when Lucas so confidently laid out one of the best lines of the episode when he told the then-Governor off for doubting his and other ranchers' wolf claims. And the way other fans are gushing over Lucas, I think some people might be scared that Yellowstone will drop its flashback format too soon. But let's live in the glorious moments while we can, with this rundown of Lucas-loving viewers. 

  • A perfect example of an absolutely flawless casting decision is Josh Lucas as young John Dutton #YellowstoneTV @Yellowstone - @melthearies
  • Josh Lucas on #YellowstoneTV is what cowboy dreams are made of - @gracefulsince85
  • Idgaf abt Yellowstone’s 1883, I need to see more of Josh Lucas as a young John Dutton. - @missmarii10
  • Taylor sheridan is fucking amazing and deserves every single flower #Yellowstone also whoever casted Josh Lucas as young John Dutton deserves every raise imaginable - @flippybets
  • Josh Lucas as John Dutton can fuckin GET IT - @jenpeterspnw
  • Josh Lucas playing a young John Dutton is really the level of casting every show and movie should be striving for - @elsteindorf

And just in case the above thoughts weren't oozing enough hornball energy, the sentiment below is alive and well on social media. 

Of course, beyond all the general adoration and hype, quite a few Yellowstone fans openly requested — and in some cases demanded — that Josh Lucas imminently get cast to lead whatever prequel would come immediately before the events we're already familiar with. (Although some seem to have their math all wrong as far as when the thing might take place.) Let's run these next few down from curious to downright thirsty.

  • Josh Lucas as a young John Dutton is terrific. I wonder if there's a potential prequel series with Lucas one day. #YellowstoneTV - @therealckj
  • I am here for a spin-off with Josh Lucas as a young John Dutton! Get on this #YellowstoneTV #joshlucas @sourlemonds
  • We actually need a young John Dutton spin off starring Josh Lucas. #YellowstoneTV - @cameow_7
  • So… this is totally leading to a Yellowstone prequel with Josh Lucas as a John Dutton AND I AM HERE FOR IT!!! RAWR! #Yellowstone - @txchickidie
  • I’m sick and tired of Taylor Sheridan gatekeeping Josh Lucas as John Dutton from me in these flashback scenes. I NEED A WHOLE SEASON OF HIM - @ya_girl_abby4

If only Yellowstone's Twitter page had been responding specifically to fans' calls for Lucas-led spinoffs with this post...

Season 5 episodes air Sunday nights on Paramount Network at 8:00 p.m. ET, and fans can stream Yellowstone’s first four seasons with a Peacock subscription. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what else is coming to the small screen soon. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.