Kevin Costner’s Lawyer Calls ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Rumors ‘Ridiculous’ After Report Hit Show Will End
An attorney for Kevin Costner is speaking out in response to a recent report that the Oscar-winning Yellowstone star is holding the show hostage because he only wants to shoot for one week for the back half of Season 5, calling the notion "ridiculous."
Deadline reported in early February that Yellowstone might come to an abrupt end at the conclusion of its current season because negotiations with Costner have stalled over a disagreement about scheduling.
According to Deadline, Costner, who stars as Dutton patriarch John Dutton on the runaway hit show, originally asked for a shooting schedule of 65 days per season when he signed on in 2018. He negotiated to reduce that to 50 days for the episodes in the first half of Season 5, since he is currently directing, producing and starring in a project of his own called Horizon, an epic, four-part Western film that's a huge commitment.
According to Deadline, Costner has been trying to negotiate for a shooting schedule of just one week for the back half of Season 5, and the network has refused. Paramount has decided instead to bring the show to a close and focus on another show to replace it in the overall Yellowstone franchise, which also consists of last year's 1883, the current 1923 and at least two upcoming shows, Bass Reeves and 6666.
In an exhaustively researched new article for Puck News, Costner's attorney, Marty Singer, scoffs at that report.
“The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of Season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie,” Singer says. “It’s ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second. As everyone who knows anything about Kevin is well aware, he is incredibly passionate about the show and has always gone way above and beyond to ensure its success.”
The meticulously sourced article claims that power and ego battles between Costner and series creator Taylor Sheridan go back years, but have now come to a head due to multiple factors:
- Costner tried to give Sheridan notes on the show during the early seasons, despite Sheridan's deal with Paramount Network that says he accepts no notes on his show
- Costner demanded compensation for promoting the show despite a massive per-episode salary that began at $500,000 in 2018 and ballooned to a reported $1.2 or $1.3 million in Season 5, with a guarantee of $1.5 million per episode for a projected Season 6
- Costner has made demands about Season 5 that are nearly impossible to fulfill
According to that report, Season 5 was originally supposed to comprise 10 episodes, which then expanded to 16 episodes filmed in two increments labeled 5A and 5B. Costner reportedly contracted COVID during a promotional visit to the Calgary Stampede, and subsequently claimed that time as part of his time and that his filming window had elapsed, forcing the entire production to re-assemble months later to suit his schedule.
Puck News reports that one of Costner's lawyers is demanding just one week of filming for the back half of Season 5, along with two days of pickup shots in October or November, which would put the second half of Season 5 to air in the time frame that had been projected for Season 6.
From Costner's perspective, Yellowstone's Season 5 was supposed to film in its entirety in 2022, but schedules kept getting moved due to Sheridan's commitments to other shows including 1923, Tulsa King, Mayor of Kingstown, Lioness, Land Man, Bass Reeves and more. From Sheridan's perspective, he can't even write the episodes for the back half of Season 5 of Yellowstone without knowing if Costner is in or out.
Which leaves us just about where we were when the news first broke: one of the parties will either concede or not, and we'll either see Costner return in a limited role to wrap his character, or his character will die without appearing onscreen again. In either scenario, it appears likely that Yellowstone will come to an end after the Season 5 finale, whenever that might take place.
Matthew McConaughey is reportedly in talks to star in a new Yellowstone spinoff to replace the show — and Taste of Country's Dutton Rules podcast team have a theory about what it is.
in a recent episode, the team speculated that McConaughey might be in talks to lead the upcoming spinoff 6666. Deadline reports that several of the other stars of Yellowstone would join him in the new show, and Yellowstone has already set up a scenario in which Jimmy (Jefferson White) has gone there for good, with Rip (Cole Hauser), Teeter (Jen Landon), Ryan (Ian Bohen), Walker (Ryan Bingham) and Jake (Jake Ream) are set to follow the Dutton Ranch herd as they move to land leased from the 6666. Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) has also chosen to follow her husband, Rip, on the move — which means several of the most prominent cast members from Yellowstone are already in.
Paramount Network reacted to Deadline's initial report with a statement that shed little light:
We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that's the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we'd love to partner.