‘Yellowstone’ Creator Finally Speaks Up About Kevin Costner’s Exit and the Show’s Ending

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Kevin Costner in 'Yellowstone.'

Many Yellowstone fans were greeted with sad news this past May, when it was announced that the fifth season of the Neo-Western Paramount+ drama would be its last. Now, the show's creator, Taylor Sheridan, has finally spoken up about the series coming to a close.

In a new profile for The Hollywood Reporter, Sheridan discussed his relationship with star Kevin Costner (John Dutton), who had reportedly been trying to leave the show earlier than expected.

“My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct,” Sheridan said. “He and the network were arguing about when he could be done with Yellowstone. I said, ‘We can certainly work a schedule toward [his preferred exit date],’ which we did.”

The project in which Costner wished to focus his energy is the upcoming film, Horizon: An American Saga. In addition to starring, Costner will co-write, produce and direct the Western.

On Costner, Sheridan added: “My opinion of Kevin as an actor hasn’t altered. His creation of John Dutton is symbolic and powerful…and I’ve never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone. But once lawyers get involved, then people don’t get to talk to each other and start saying things that aren’t true and attempt to shift blame based on how the press or public seem to be reacting. He took a lot of this on the chin and I don’t know that anyone deserves it. His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus. I sure hope [the movie is] worth it—and that it’s a good one.”

However, Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter that Costner's exit doesn't change the finale he had envisioned for Yellowstone. “I’m disappointed,” Sheridan said. “It truncates the closure of [Costner's] character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.”

The first eight episodes of season five premiered from November 2022 to January 2023. The second half of the fifth season is set to start airing later this year.

But while we're sad to see Costner (and Yellowstone) go, the good news is that Sheridan is already developing a sequel series with Paramount, in which Matthew McConaughey is slated to lead. In fact, Sheridan told THR, “[McConaughey] seems like a natural fit. We had a few conversations over the years, and spitballed a few ideas. Then he started watching Yellowstone and responded to it. He was like, ‘I want to do that.’ And by ‘that’ he meant diving into a raw world clashing up against the modern world. And then I said, ‘Buddy, that we can do.’”

mcconaughey hero
Gary Miller/Getty Images

Either way, at least we know that the Yellowstone universe will live on with prequel shows like 1883 and 1923 (and Sheridan has even more prequel series in the planning stages now).

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the former Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a...