Kevin Costner Makes It Official: He’s Not Returning To ‘Yellowstone’

Kevin Costner Makes It Official: He’s Not Returning To ‘Yellowstone’

Hours after the Paramount Network revealed the return date for the final episodes of Yellowstone, Kevin Costner ended all speculation about his possible return by announcing via social media that he, in fact, is not coming back.

He introduced his video post on Instagram by saying “An update for you guys. I’ll see you at the movies.”

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“I want to reach out and let you know that after this long year and a half of working on Horizon and doing all the things that’s required, and thinking about Yellowstone, that beloved series that I love, that I know you love, I just realized that I’m not going to be able to continue Season 5B or into the future,” he said. “It was something that really changed me. I loved it. And I know you loved it. And I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be returning and I love the relationship we’ve been able to develop and I’ll see you at the movies.”

Earlier Thursday, Paramount revealed that the second half of the fifth and final season of the Taylor Sheridan series will premiere Sunday, November 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The announcement made no mention of whether Costner’s John Dutton would appear in those final episodes; instead, fans had to seek out recent interviews with Costner to see whether he revealed anything about returning to the show that helped to revive his career six years ago.

And boy, has Costner been saying a lot. In a recent interview with People, the actor expressed disappointment over how none of his former co-stars came to his defense when the original narrative surrounding his absence was solely blamed on his inflexible filming schedule for Horizon: An American Saga.

“I read all the stories,” he said. “I was disappointed that nobody on their side… ever stepped up to defend what it was I actually did for them. There came a moment where I thought, ‘Wow, when is somebody going to say something about what I have done versus what I haven’t done?’”

Costner also said that he would be open to returning to finish up the Yellowstone saga, but it would have to be under certain conditions.

“I’ve always felt that…It might be an interesting moment to come back and finish the mythology of this modern-day family,” he said. “And if that happens, I would step into it if I agreed with how it was being done.”

On June 17, Costner told Today that he hadn’t shut the door on returning to Yellowstone. “Number one, I did it for five years, OK, and I want to work more than once a year. We lost an entire year at one point and I thought, ‘Well that can’t ever happen again.’ It was well over a year.”

And in May, Costner told Deadline’s Mike Fleming that he made a contract to play Dutton for seasons five, six and seven. He promised to stick around.

“After a two- or three-month negotiation, they made another contract, he said at the time. “They wanted to redo that one, and instead of seasons six and seven, it was 5A and 5B, and maybe we’ll do six. They weren’t able to make those. Horizon was set in the middle, but Yellowstone was first position. I fit [Horizon] into the gaps. They just kept moving their gaps.”

Costner went on to say he lived up to the “truth of the contract.” He said he never shot the second half of season five because “there was no script. And then things imploded.”

That implosion occurred around February of 2023, when Deadline broke that Sheridan’s top-rated drama was looking to end in a spectacular fashion. The plan was to wrap up Paramount’s signature show in its current form and plot a franchise extension starring Matthew McConaughey.

Disagreements over Costner’s film schedule led to the shocking announcement, though Paramount at the time tried to take the sting out of the reveal by saying “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.”

Paramount has yet to reveal any more details about the spinoff. It also hasn’t said how many episodes fans can expect for the end of Yellowstone.


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