Kevin Costner Confirms His Exit from Yellowstone, Threatens Legal Action

Kevin Costner, the star of the popular neo-Western series Yellowstone, has spoken out about his departure from the show after four seasons.

The show’s future was uncertain due to the ongoing strikes, and Costner confirmed that he would not return for season 5. According to various sources, his exit was caused by both creative differences with co-creator and showrunner Taylor Sheridan and scheduling issues for his upcoming four-film Western saga, Horizon: An American Saga. As a result, season 5 will be the final season of Yellowstone, and a sequel spin-off starring Matthew McConaughey will take its place.

Kevin Costner Confirms His Exit from Yellowstone, Threatens Legal Action
Yellowstone Season 5 | Source: IMDb

According to a new report from Deadline, Costner disclosed in his recent testimony for his divorce case that he might sue the show for his early exit. 

He also admitted that he had negotiated to continue until season 7, but the deal fell apart due to creative conflicts with Sheridan, the co-creator and showrunner of Yellowstone. Costner claimed that he tried to resolve the impasse, but the producers decided to end their collaboration.

Until now, Costner had not commented much on his exit from Yellowstone, focusing more on promoting Horizon during its filming. However, his divorce case has revealed some details about the issue. Costner declined to discuss the reasons for his departure from the show, while legal documents showed that his contract had expired. He also testified in the court that his income in 2023 would be “significantly lower than in 2022” and that he would only receive “residual contractual rights” from the show.

The expectation was that Costner would reprise his role as John Dutton in Yellowstone season 5 part 2, which would end the main show and his character arc. However, his intention to sue some unknown parties for his exit might jeopardize this.

Kevin Costner Confirms His Exit from Yellowstone, Threatens Legal Action
YellowStone | Source: IMDb

The production of the show’s final episodes has been stalled indefinitely by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Costner did not specify when he would pursue legal action against those he blames for his departure, but he might initiate the lawsuit before the production resumes.

Costner’s admitted that he had negotiated for two more seasons of Yellowstone. This suggests that the show’s original finale plans have been disrupted by his early departure. The show is enjoying its peak popularity, partly due to the success of its spinoffs 1883 and 1923. It is uncertain how long Sheridan planned to continue the main show, but Costner’s abrupt exit might pose challenges for the franchise’s future.

About Yellowstone

Yellowstone is an American neo-western drama created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson that premiered on Paramount Network.

The series follows the Dutton family, owners of the largest ranch in the United States. The plot revolves around family drama and the bordering Native reservations and national parks.

The series stars Kevin Costner, Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, and Gil Birmingham.

Pratyasha Sarkar

Pratyasha Sarkar

Officially a student of literature, but unofficially a defence lawyer of fictional characters. I am mostly either feasting on chocolate chip cookies or binge watching sitcoms. Also, I firmly believe mint ice cream tastes like toothpaste.


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