‘Yellowstone’ creator Taylor Sheridan ‘disappointed’ by Kevin Costner’s shocking exit

Kevin Costner posing at an angle in a black blazer and vest and white suit shirt
“Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner will turn his attention to directing and starring in a four-film saga.
Share via

“Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner is leaving the ranch to pursue another directing venture — and series creator Taylor Sheridan has some thoughts.

Sheridan, the mind behind Paramount’s expansive “Yellowstone” franchise, broke his silence on reports of Costner’s shocking exit in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday. After more than five years of working with Costner to craft ranch patriarch John Dutton, Sheridan said the Emmy Award-winning actor’s abrupt exit poked a hole in his plans.

“I’m disappointed,” Sheridan told the Hollywood Reporter. “It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.”


Kevin Costner’s attorney Marty Singer denies reports that the actor was making production difficult for Paramount Network’s hit series ‘Yellowstone.’

Feb. 23, 2023

Speculation about Costner’s “Yellowstone” exit first came about in February, when Deadline reported exclusively that Paramount was taking steps to end its marquee series and pivot to a new spinoff starring Matthew McConaughey.

In May, Paramount announced that “Yellowstone” will conclude with the second half of its fifth season. The final chapter is slated to hit Paramount and Paramount+ in November, though that remains uncertain amid the ongoing writers’ strike.

Costner will return to the director’s seat at least once for a four-movie series titled “Horizon,” the Hollywood Reporter reported. He will also co-write and act in the film — which has seemingly conflicted with his time on the Paramount series.

“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,” Sheridan told the Hollywood Reporter.

In a May Instagram post, the actor told fans, “I haven’t felt this way about a movie since we were making ‘Dances With Wolves.’” In 1991, “Dances With Wolves” took home two Oscars: the top picture prize and the director award for Costner.

Paramount Network says it isn’t moving on from ‘Yellowstone’ just yet — but wouldn’t mind having Matthew McConaughey in its Montana-centric universe.

Feb. 6, 2023

Costner also told Deadline in May that he is hoping to release the first “Horizon” film in the fall, and parade it on the festival circuit at the Venice Film Festival in September.


News of Costner’s exit shocked “Yellowstone” fans, but Sheridan said the shake-up has not changed how he feels about his leading man. Sheridan also said he and Costner were quick to resolve any issues on their own — without the help of legal reps or publicists.

“He took a lot of this on the chin and I don’t know that anyone deserves it,” Sheridan continued. “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.”

Paramount announced Friday that its neo-Western blockbuster will conclude when Season 5 returns in November, followed by an untitled ‘Yellowstone’ sequel.

May 5, 2023

With “Yellowstone” proper coming to an end, Paramount has moved to expand Sheridan’s reach. Oscar winner McConaughey is in “late-stage negotiations” to star in a “Yellowstone” spinoff, according to THR.

To Sheridan, McConaughey “seems like a natural fit.”

Sheridan added: “[McConaughey] 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.’“