We all remember earlier in this year, when rumors began to swirl that Kevin Costner would be exiting Yellowstonedue to conflicts in film scheduling.
Unfortunately our worst fears were realized as it was confirmed that Costner would no longer be a part of the Yellowstone saga, and that the show would be coming to an end after the second half of Season 5.
With that being said, we’re now learning more information about the conversations that were going on between Costner and show co-creator Taylor Sheridan and where it all fell apart. And it’s more than just scheduling…
According to Puck,Sheridan had mostly completed the scripts for the second half of season five before the writers strike began in May, and it didn’t feature Costner.
However, the industry’s insider stated that Costner’s reps were still busy communicating his desire to return to the show for the second half of season five, and possibly for a future seasons six and seven.
Sheridan was initially willing to write Costner (who plays John Dutton) back into the script (essentially redo them), but when the two got onto a phone call in early July to discuss the situation, Costner demanded more money, a reduced film schedule, and also the right to review, approve, and possibly change the scripts Sheridan wrote.
As you can imagine, Sheridan gave that request a hard pass. Sheridan writes every script, always has, and won’t compromise his vision for anybody… even a legendary actor and his leading character… Kevin Costner.
And that was pretty much it.
Of course, Costner has argued that he signed up to film Yellowstone and negotiated a filming schedule that would allow him to work on his own project, Horizon. However, when Costner was asked to film Part 1 and then Part 2 of Season 5, he claims:
According to court testimony from his divorce proceedings, he said:
“Somewhere along the line they wanted to change things. They wanted to do 5A and 5B… which affected ‘Horizon.’ I was going to do my movie ‘Horizon’ and leave that show, do my movie, then do 5B.
A show I was only doing once a year I was now doing twice.”
So you can perhaps understand why Costner wants more money if the film schedule is going to be more demanding than anticipated.
That being said, it sounds like all hope is lost for a return to the show for Kevin Costner. However, time (and a big pile of money) heals all wounds.
With the writer’s strike going on, who even knows when they’ll get around to filming the series finale… it could even be 2025 before we see a premiere. That could give Costner and Sheridan time to potentially work something out, but it doesn’t seem likely.
Much like the characters in the show, it seems like we have a couple of big ego, alpha dogs here, and neither one wants to budge.
It’ll be interesting to see what ultimately happens to John Dutton in the second half of Season 5… it doesn’t look like he’ll be around to film so I imagine we’re not actually going to witness his death… kind of a bummer, right?