‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Reveals How Kevin Costner’s Departure Changes Show’s Ending
Costner was involved in a public standoff with the producers of Yellowstone over his shooting schedule for the second half of the show's fifth season in early 2023. He recently revealed that he is "no longer under contract" to the show in documents he filed about his ongoing divorce from his wife of 18 years, Christine Baumgartner.
Costner's character, John Dutton, will reportedly die early in the second half of Season 5 of Yellowstone.
“My opinion of Kevin as an actor hasn’t altered,” Sheridan tells the Hollywood Reporter. “His creation of John Dutton is symbolic and powerful … and I’ve never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone. But once lawyers get involved, then people don’t get to talk to each other and start saying things that aren’t true and attempt to shift blame based on how the press or public seem to be reacting."
Costner's problem with the shooting schedule for Yellowstone's Season 5 derived from his commitment to a project called Horizon, which he is directing, producing and starring in.
His decision to depart Yellowstone resulted in a public outcry.
"He took a lot of this on the chin, and I don’t know that anyone deserves it," Sheridan states. "His movie seems to be a great priority to him, and he wants to shift focus. I sure hope [the movie is] worth it — and that it’s a good one."
“I’m disappointed,” Sheridan adds. “It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.”
It's not clear if Costner will appear at all in the second half of Yellowstone's Season 5, which may be delayed due to the Hollywood writers and actors strikes. The show is set to come to an end after those episodes, and Matthew McConaughey is reportedly in talks to star in a Yellowstone sequel that will launch after the show comes to an end.