'Yellowstone' Star Reportedly Has Eyes on Kevin Costner's Role if Star Exits Series

Kevin Costner is undoubtedly a big reason why many Yellowstone fans tune into the neo-Western drama each week. However, should the series star ever exit, one of his fellow cast members reportedly has their eyes on taking over Dutton Ranch. According to Radar Online, Cole Hauser is said to be eyeing Costner's top casting spot if the Hollywood icon leaves Yellowstone.

In the show, Costner plays John Dutton, one of Montana's top cattle ranchers, as well as the new state governor. Hauser plays Rip Wheeler, his right-hand man at Dutton Ranch. "Cole doesn't want to do anything to offend Kevin. He likes him and doesn't mind his grumpiness or long, drawn-out silences, but he sees an opening here," an unnamed source told Radar. "Kevin's given off plenty of hints that season five will be his last and, if that's the case, Cole feels he should replace him as top dog."

It's unclear how much trust there may be in the prospect of Costner leaving. The "hints" Radar refers to seem to stem from an alleged comment Costner made, saying "I really don't know" when asked about his future at Yellowstone. The outlet also points to a previous report indicating Costner's wife, Christine Baumgartner, "wants her husband to hang up his cowboy hat."

"Cole figures he's paid his dues and has a lot to show for it," the source went on to say. "Kevin's getting older now and the time to pass the torch is coming." They added, "But Cole doesn't think the show should end just because Kevin's not in it. It's still got a lot of steam left in his view, but his pals hope he doesn't let it all go to his head."

Yellowstone is a Paramount Network series that follows the exploits of the Dutton family, who control the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States. The series was created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, and it is currently in its fifth season. Additional current and past cast members include Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Forrie J. Smith, Denim Richards, Ian Bohen, Finn Little, Ryan Bingham, Moses Brings Plenty, Wendy Moniz, Jennifer Landon, and Kathryn Kelly.

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Ahead of the new episodes, executive producer David C. Glasser teased that the season premiere would "immediately surprise everybody." Speaking to TV Insider, Glasser said, "Episode 1 will immediately surprise everybody – where our story starts and what has happened." While he didn't offer too much in the way of specific details, Glasser did reveal that the show will have some previously unseen settings. "We visit some new and amazing Montana locations," he said.