Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan breaks his silence on his alleged feud with Kevin Costner.
Taylor Sheridan is not pleased about losing the lead star of Yellowstone. With fans eagerly awaiting the second half of season five, the filmmaker finally addressed Kevin Costner’s departure from the series in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “My opinion of Kevin as an actor hasn’t altered,” he told the publication.
“His creation of John Dutton is symbolic and powerful, and I’ve never had an issue with Kevin [Costner] 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. He took a lot of this on the chin, and I don’t know that anyone deserves it. 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.”Taylor Sheridan
Earlier this year, Kevin Costner surprised Yellowstone fans by announcing his departure from the show, which led Paramount to call time on the entire series. The actor’s decision to leave was driven by his dedication to his own Western project, Horizon, which consists of four movies. He is heavily involved in the project as a co-writer, director, and lead actor.
After struggling to get the project off the ground for 35 years, Kevin Costner is on the verge of completing the second film in the saga this June. According to the actor, the first installment in the franchise is expected to premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. As a result, the actor gradually reduced his availability on the set of Yellowstone.
This shift in commitment frustrated the show’s producers. However, a source close to the situation says Kevin Costner had to keep “waiting on scripts.” Although he blocked out time to film the series, his dates were constantly changed. “Kevin’s been unfairly portrayed in this thing,” the source explained. “How can you schedule something when there are no scripts? Sheridan is doing eight other shows.”
Still, Sheridan insists that his relationship with Kevin Costner is fine. “My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct. He and the network were arguing about when he could be done with Yellowstone. I said, ‘We can certainly work a schedule toward [his preferred exit date],’ which we did.”
However, Chris McCarthy, the head of Paramount, previously highlighted Kevin Costner’s inflexibility and limited availability as reasons for his departure. To date, the actor has not provided a definitive explanation for his decision to leave the hit series. Yellowstone is currently one of the most popular television series in the United States.
The story explores the challenges faced by the Dutton Family, who own the largest ranch in Montana. Sheridan’s modern Western has received widespread acclaim for its compelling political intrigue and the exceptional performances by Kevin Costner and the main cast. The series’ success has spawned two spin-offs, 1883 and 1923, which explore the origins of the Dutton’s rise to power.
The second part of Yellowstone season five will premiere in November 2023. One could make the case that Yellowstone no longer relies heavily on Kevin Costner as it did in the first season. The franchise boasts a variety of standout characters, notably Kelly Reilly’s portrayal of Beth Dutton, and it has expanded its reach with its spin-offs.
Meanwhile, Paramount is shifting its focus to a new Yellowstone series which is set to debut in December. Although it has not been given an official title, there are indications that it will use the original show’s name in some form. Details regarding the plot and cast are being kept under wraps. However, it was previously revealed that Matthew McConaughey was linked to the project.
It remains to be seen how Sheridan will wrap up the final season of Yellowstone, while accommodating Kevin Costner.