Kevin Costner rules out ever returning to Yellowstone: ‘It really changed me’

After months of speculation about his future on the show, Kevin Costner has officially confirmed that he will not be returning to Yellowstone.

The 69-year-old has starred as the lead in the hit US series since it first aired in 2018, playing ranch owner John Dutton. Created by Taylor Sheridan, the show follows a group of American ranchers and land developers in rural Montana.

Costner exited the series in 2023. It was revealed at the time that his leaving the show would prematurely bring it to an end, with Sheridan expressing disappointment over the Bodyguard star’s decision. The final episodes of season five are set to arrive this November.

In February this year, the programme was left shaken by reports that it was behind-the-scenes drama between Sheridan and Costner that was to blame for the actor’s departure.

As recently as Monday (17 June), Costner had maintained that he has not ruled out the possibility of a return.

Now, however, theactor has finally ended speculation on his future with Yellowstone, confirming that he will not be returning to the show – ever.

In a video post shared to his Instagram, which he captioned, “An update for you guys. I’ll see you at the movies”, the actor, who recently released his own Western saga, Horizon, at the Cannes Film Festival, explained his decision.

“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 realised that I’m not going to be able to continue Season 5B or into the future,” he said.

Costner confirmed he would not be returning as John Dutton (Paramount)
Costner confirmed he would not be returning as John Dutton (Paramount)

“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.”

While Yellowstone initially divided critics, it has gone on to become one of the most successful TV programmes in recent years.

According to reports by Deadline last year, Sheridan and the Paramount network are hoping Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey will head a “franchise extension to continue the Dutton saga” in a replacement as the show’s lead.