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Taylor Sheridan has broken his silence about Kevin Costner’s shocking exit from Yellowstone. The celebrated showrunner offered a unique perspective on the unexpected departure, revealing that Costner’s dissatisfaction has been brewing for some time.

With the show concluding in season 5, here’s a closer look at the behind-the-scenes struggles and discussions that marked Costner’s journey on the show – straight from Sheridan himself. 

Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner attend "Yellowstone" premiere at Paramount Pictures on June 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California
Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Paramount Network

Taylor Sheridan confirms that Kevin Costner may have been unhappy long before his exit

Earlier this year, Costner’s decision to step away from Yellowstone surprised many fans. Paramount has since announced that the second part of season 5 will conclude the series.

Prior to his exit, Costner dealt with many rumors regarding his future on the show. One juicy tidbit suggested that he wasn’t happy with the path his character was taking and that Sheridan had told him to just “stick to acting.”

But Sheridan stepped in to clear the air. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, he said he never had such a chat with Costner. However, he did confess that back in season two, Costner wasn’t too thrilled with how his character’s story was shaping up.

“There was a time in season two when he was very upset and said the character wasn’t going in the direction he wanted,” Sheridan stated. 

Sheridan managed to pull things back together in the next season. But, for Costner, the issues kept cropping up, eventually leading to his departure.

The ‘Yellowstone’ showrunner opens up about Kevin Costner’s exit

Costner is currently knee-deep in his own ambitious Western project — a four-part saga named Horizon. Not only is he penning the script, but he’s also directing and taking center stage in the project. 

Given his packed schedule, Costner has been pushing to reduce his time on Yellowstone over the last few seasons. This move has caused some tension with the production team.

For his part, Sheridan disclosed that he has been in talks with Costner about tying up his storyline in Yellowstone.

“My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct. 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 explained.

The production team is still making efforts to persuade Costner to shoot a few more scenes to conclude his character’s arc. The only issue is that the team is still working on the scripts.

Sheridan did not comment on when production might get underway for the final half of season 5. The season was originally supposed to wrap up this year.

Taylor Sheridan reveals how he plans to wrap up John Dutton’s story

Since Costner made his announcement, fans have eagerly awaited Sheridan’s approach to concluding Yellowstone. Sheridan is actively developing several spinoffs within the Yellowstone universe, including a sequel that will seamlessly continue the narrative from season 5.

While Sheridan refrained from divulging specifics about Yellowstone’s impending end, he emphasized that John Dutton’s storyline remains unchanged. Despite Costner’s premature departure, Sheridan reassured fans that the resolution of his character remains intact.

“I’m disappointed. It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it,” he shared.


Taylor Sheridan Was Talking About the End of ‘Yellowstone’ Long Before His Feud With Kevin Costner

Sheridan refrained from providing further details about John’s fate. He did, however, hint that Costner’s character was never supposed to survive until the series’ conclusion.

Additionally, the showrunner commended Costner for his portrayal of the Dutton family patriarch. He also affirmed that any issues between them were effortlessly resolved through a simple phone call.

Costner has not commented on the rumors surrounding his departure from Yellowstone