Yellowstone’s Wes Bentley Calls Rumored Kevin Costner Exit: “Drama Over Nothing”

Kevin Costner and Wes Bentley Yellowstone

Not so fast…

It’s been widely reported that Yellowstone is currently in the midst of contract dispute with its leading actor Kevin Costner, one that has put the entire show in jeopardy.

It’s chaotic, and a bit of a he said/she said, but long story short: Kevin Costner (John Dutton) seems to have negotiated a filming schedule for Yellowstone Season 5 that would allow him plenty of time to film and direct his own western movie, Horizon, which he also co-wrote and produced.

However, delays have put filming the second half of Season 5 well into 2023, and Kevin Costner is short on time.

According to one source, Kevin argues that Taylor Sheridan has been late with scripts, and shuffles the filming schedule around frequently to accommodate the 10 other projects he’s working on, while Paramount argues that Costner getting COVID is the reason the filming was delayed and he should be willing to make up that time.

Either way, Kevin doesn’t seem to want to devote another two months of his time to filming the second half of Yellowstone Season 5 this spring, so it has been rumored that Yellowstone as we know it may come to an end and the story will continue with a new spinoff series fronted by Matthew McConaughey, with much of the original cast.

It was initially reported by Deadline: 

“Costner, who had originally limited himself to 65 days of shooting on Yellowstone, only wanted to shoot for 50 days for the first part of the current season.

Paramount Network has declined Costner’s most recent proposal and instead has made the decision to move on to the other show.”

Paramount responded to the situation by saying:

“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.”

However, as far as those reports go, Costner’s lawyer Marty Singer recently shot down any notion that Kevin wasn’t willing to film the second half of the season:

He told Puck News:

“The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie. 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.”

Obviously, a lot of speculation and rumors going around and there’s probably a much higher likelihood that Coster and Sheridan figure out a way to make this work and the show continues on as is. It might be delayed until this coming fall, but I don’t think Costner is looking to torpedo this whole thing in its prime.

And Yellowstone star Wes Bentley (Jamie Dutton) agrees:

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, he called the whole thing “drama,” while also confessing that he’s not privy to the corporate conversations:

“The news that’s come out recently about the show is, you know… it’s above my pay grade. Different people making decisions.

I know that they’re still working on… working things out with everyone, to make sure we shoot. And I’m confident we will. We always have before. I think it’s probably a bit of drama over nothing.”

He also adds that, just like the rest of the cast, he has no idea where the story is going:

“It’s a mystery to me too where it’s going… I wait for that next script and within the same kind of anticipation or fans do for the next episode to be aired because Taylor surprises us so much.

I just know this is an inflection point… something major will come of this moment between Jamie and Beth. This is kind of the final straw. I think that is now flipped a switch in Jamie.”

Paramount Network and Taylor Sheridan have clearly taken the Yellowstone story and built out and entire universe of prequels, sequels and spinoffs, and Bentley confesses that he is as interested as everybody else to see where it goes:

“And I’m so interested in everyone. I’m so invested in more than just Jamie. I’m invested in the whole thing now. We all talk about it on set, you know, all the possibilities. We do our own fanfiction.”

Between 1883, 1923, the upcoming 1944, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, and the rumored 6666’s Ranch spinoff, the world of Yellowstone is nowhere close to over yet.

The only question remains… will Kevin Costner be a part of it?

Stay tuned…

The second half of Yellowstone Season 5 is set to air this coming summer (although it’s looking more like fall now), and the Season 1 finale of 1923 airs TODAY.

The Next Yellowstone Prequel – ‘1944

If you thought the Yellowstone prequel series 1923 was ending in that time period, think again…

Because there’s a sequel to the show called 1944 in the works as we speak, adding yet another show to the universe of Taylor Sheridan.

According to The Billings Gazette, Tom Prince, executive vice president of production at 101 Studios and partner with Paramount for Yellowstone, made the announcement:

“Of course, we’ve got 1923, we’ve got the sequel, we’re not letting the cat out of the bag, it’s going to be called ‘1944.’

My guess is that it’ll be shooting largely in the Bitterroot Valley because it has to take place at what is Chief Joseph Ranch.”

The Chief Joseph Ranch is the real life ranch they use to shoot Yellowstone, located in Darby, Montana.

Prince also weighed in on the success of Yellowstone:

“It’s an enormous hit, not just in the United States. I was just in Europe two weeks ago. They talked about it in London, I’m like ‘how the hell do you know about Yellowstone in London?’

It’s a big, big show. And it’s the highest quality of television being made right now.”

It’s been insane watching the rise in popularity Montana has seen, simply from Yellowstone and its prequel series.

A recent study from the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and UM’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research discovered that the series brought the state of Montana around 2.1 million visitors, and $730 million in spending in 2021 alone.

Prince continued:

“We spent $75 million last year just in the Bitterroot Valley on housing in hotels, and wages and bars. We also do a little television series called ‘1923’ that was shooting in Butte. We’re going to draw up about the same amount of money up there.

So this is our third year coming up to Montana. We came out two years ago when we moved out of Utah. We used to shoot at 75-80% in Utah for the first three seasons, and we’d come up to Montana to shoot the Chief Joseph Ranch.

When COVID hit, Utah pulled their rebates and Taylor Sheridan said, let’s move the whole thing up to Montana. And I don’t think it’s a surprise the viewership has spiked.”

And you have to imagine that those numbers will only jump even further, once 1944 is officially completed.

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A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock