Kevin Costner Ousted From Yellowstone, See Who’s Replacing Him

Paramount is abruptly canceling Yellowstone and replacing it and Kevin Costner with a new, related show starring Matthew McConaughey.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

Matthew McConaughey

Kevin Costner is being replaced by Matthew McConaughey, as the enormously popular Western drama series Yellowstone may be abruptly shutting down and continuing in a new form with the True Detective actor. According to Deadline, Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan and Paramount are planning to end the show and are developing a new show to carry on the franchise, but without Kevin Costner. It seems that tensions between the lead actor of Yellowstone and its creator have been building over shooting schedules and matters have reached a breaking point. 

The second part of the fifth season of Yellowstone is set to premiere sometime in 2023, but it is now unclear whether this will be the final season of one of the most popular television shows in the world. It seems that Kevin Costner has increasingly insisted on a shorter shooting schedule for his character; while he reportedly capped shooting days at 65, he insisted on 50 for the first half of Season 5 and then a single week for the second half. It is understandable that Taylor Sheridan and Paramount would find this frustrating, given that Kevin Costner essentially functions as the public face of the show.

However, no matter how big of a star Kevin Costner is, it seems that no one is irreplaceable to the Yellowstone machine. There are no details on what the show in development might involve, other than being a narrative continuation of Yellowstone and that Matthew McConaughey is in talks for the lead role. It would seem likely that supporting actors like Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, and Cole Hauser might also be ported over to the new show, but at the moment, it is difficult to say.

Yellowstone Season 5

While it is somewhat shocking that Kevin Costner could be essentially fired from Yellowstone, given that he is the anchor of the show (not to mention an Academy Award winner), the franchise has been expanding at a rapid pace. Two prequel spin-offs of the show have already aired, the most recent one boasting stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, with several more in development. Even if you do not count Taylor Sheridan’s many other, thematically similar shows like Sylvester Stallone’s Tulsa King and Jeremy Renner’s Mayor of Kingstown, the franchise has been expanding past the centrality of Kevin Costner’s character for some time.

It probably has not helped matters that the success of Yellowstone has also jumpstarted Kevin Costner’s career as a filmmaker, which may well have led to him prioritizing his own movies over the show. Currently, Costner is planning to star in and direct a multipart Western titled Horizon. The time requirements of both positions may have played into his demand for severely shortened Yellowstone shooting hours.

The new show that is to replace Yellowstone as the flagship show of the Taylor Sheridanverse is intended to premiere on the Paramount Network and then stream on Paramount+. Contractual requirements that have forced Paramount to stream Yellowstone on Peacock have also reportedly been a frustration, which makes starting a new show that can stream on a proprietary platform that much more appealing. We will update with new information as we receive it.