Man, it’s gonna be weird once the second half of Yellowstoneseason five drops, knowing that it will be without John Dutton (Kevin Costner).
Of course, the rumors began to swirl earlier this year that Costner was exiting the show due to issues in film scheduling for the second half of season five, as he wanted to make more time for his upcoming western film Horizon. Sure enough, the rumors became a reality. I suppose there is still time to negotiate, as they probably won’t start filming the second half of season five (the series finale), until next spring, but that’s wildly optimistic.
After Costner asked for more money and script veto power, and Taylor Sheridan told him no, it seems like there won’t be much more to discuss.
That being said, I can honestly say I’m stoked to see how Horizon pans out, considering he announced last year that this was a passion project he’d been putting off for 30 years. However, the movie has come with a serious cost to Costner’s finances, as Horizon: An American Saga has reportedly set the famed actor back over $20 million in out-of-pocket expenses, according to Fox 4.
The film is actually a series split into four parts, which is based on the expansion of the American West before and after the Civil War. Chapter 1 is slated to drop June 28th, 2024, and Chapter 2 is set for August 16th, 2024.
The outlet states that Costner’s movie expenses were brought to light in court documents after his longtime wife, Christine Baumgartner, filed for divorce back in May. And Costner is shelling out a LOT of his own money to make this dream a reality. Granted, he’ll make some back if the film does well, but it’s quite the investment.
The document reads:
“Kevin’s total compensation for acting, producing, and directing in Horizon 1 is approximately $12,000,000, and for Horizon 2 is approximately $12,000,000, most of which he voluntarily deferred.
Kevin estimates that this money will ‘waterfall’ back to him starting in late next year. Kevin also has a profit participation in Horizon 1 and 2, which is yet another source of income.”
Costner also mortgaged 10 acres of a $50 million property in Santa Barbara. Costner said:
“I’ve mortgaged 10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara where I was going to build my last house. But I did it without a thought. It has thrown my accountant into a f*cking conniption fit. But it’s my life, and I believe in the idea and the story.”
If you know anything about living on the water in Santa Barbara, you know it’s one of the most beautiful places in the country, and also one of the most expensive. Costner also said he had been offered $24 million for seasons five, six, and seven of Yellowstone, before those discussions broke down and it was announced the second half of season five would be the conclusion of the show. That’s also why he argued in court that he didn’t have the money his ex-wife wanted in the divorce… he wasn’t gonna be making that extra Yellowstone cash anymore.
As far as Horizon goes, he’s had the idea on his mind since 1988. He almost teamed up with Disney after the release of Open Range, but he says it didn’t feel right:
“Eight years later, I started thinking about the story, started writing with a partner, and it ended up being four screenplays. So, I reverse-engineered everything from 1988. I thought it was really good. But I still couldn’t get anybody to make it.
At the end of the day, I’m a storyteller, and I went ahead and put my own money into it. I’m not a very good businessman, so, scratch your head, if you will. I don’t know why, but I have not let go of this one. I’ve pushed it into the middle of the table three times in my career and didn’t blink. This is my fourth.”
Here’s the first teaser trailer:
Yellowstone is most likely set to return sometime next fall, although it’s unclear when they will resume filming amid contract negotiations, strikes, the Montana weather and more. It could be a long, long time before we see the dramatic conclusion of one of America’s favorite shows.