Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone
(Paramount Network)

What’s Really Going On With Kevin Costner’s ‘Yellowstone’ Exit?

Taylor Sheridan’s brainchild Yellowstone has proven to be a cornerstone for Paramount Network, enabling the studio to spawn multiple spinoffs in the form of 1883, 1923, and yet-to-be-released 1944 and 6666.

Recommended Videos

A key figure in the show’s success has been its lead, Kevin Costner, who plays John Dutton III, the Dutton family patriarch and owner of the largest ranch in Montana. Costner has played the role for five seasons since the series’ inception but won’t be seen in the second half of season 5, which is set to premiere in November 2024.

The rumors behind Costner’s exit suggested that the Academy Award winner was unable to clear his schedule to shoot for Yellowstone, instead focusing on his passion project, Horizon: An American Saga, in which he has invested $38 million of his own funds. The aforementioned rumors also indicated that Costner was only available to shoot for a week, and Costner recently addressed these reports, bringing his side of the story to the forefront.

Instagram/Kevin Costner

According to an interview given to Deadline by the veteran actor in May, Costner mentioned leaving the production of Horizon to accommodate filming for Yellowstone, only to find out “there was no script.” In a separate interview, he also divulged that there was a 14-month-long hiatus on the show with no timeline or source material to work with, a fact that he wasn’t made aware of. Costner’s comments differ from Sheridan’s version of the story. However, both artists have maintained respect for each other by commending their respective talents.

After staying mum on the subject, Costner has been quite vocal about the alleged unfair treatment he has received from the Yellowstone production team. As things stand, he won’t be a part of season five’s second part, which will premiere later this year, but according to him, he still won’t rule out returning to the show under “the right circumstances.” As for the show, it would greatly benefit it if Costner returned as Dutton and acted as a peacemaker between his feuding children, Beth and Jamie.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Evan Tiwari
Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.