Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan says he’s “disappointed” about Kevin Costner’s exit, but it’s out of his control.
Sheridan discusses the rumors around the star’s headline-making departure — as well as the fate of rancher John Dutton III as the Paramount Network show concludes — in a new interview. He says he and Costner always had open communication — until lawyers got involved.
“My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct,” Sheridan said of Costner’s four-part movie series, titled Horizon: An American Saga, which the actor-director mortgaged his home to fund. “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 Dances With Wolves star, who won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama in January, had reportedly been trying to reduce the number of days he spent making Yellowstone, which premiered in 2018. Originally he spent 65 days shooting, but wanted to only shoot 50 for the first part of Season 5, which aired its midseason finale on Jan. 1. When it came to scheduling the second half of the season, six episodes, Costner reportedly wanted to truncate it into one week, leading to an impasse with the network. However, Costner’s lawyer denied he requested to shoot in one week. Costner insiders claimed the actor was frustrated with behind the scenes delays and alleged differences with Sheridan. Ultimately, Paramount announced the hit show will end at the end of Season 5. It was originally to return this summer, but was pushed to November. Now, it could be delayed further due to the writers strike.
“My opinion of Kevin as an actor hasn’t altered,” Sheridan said. “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.”