‘Yellowstone’ Boss Admits He’s ‘Disappointed’ Over Kevin Costner Leaving The Show Amid Drama

Taylor Sheridan dismissed the rumors about on-set drama with Kevin Costner, but did admit that he's 'disappointed' about Kevin's premature exit from the show.

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Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan is preparing to say goodbye to his hit series that stars Kevin Costner. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor, 53, reacted to the decision by Kevin, 68, to leave the show after season 5, which is supposed to wrap up later this year. “I’m disappointed,” Taylor said. “It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.”

Taylor continued, “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.’ ”

Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ (Photo: ©Paramount Network/courtesy Everett Collection)

On May 5, Paramount Network confirmed that Yellowstone will end after the second half of season 5 airs. The announcement came after the reports that claimed Kevin, who recently split from his wife Christine Baumgartner, was allegedly causing drama behind-the-scenes, and didn’t want to continue his role as John Dutton in the series. But Taylor complimented the Oscar winner — who is moving on from Yellowstone in favor of his Western epic movie Horizon — and told THR that his “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,” Taylor said. “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.”

Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner (Photo: Emerson Miller / ©Paramount Network / courtesy Everett Collection)

Taylor also denied a report that claimed he told Kevin to “stick to acting” when they were allegedly beefing on set. “I never had that conversation with Kevin,” he said. “There was a time in season two when he was very upset and said the character wasn’t going in the direction he wanted. I said, ‘Kevin, you do remember that I told you this is essentially The Godfather on the largest ranch in Montana? Are you that surprised that the Godfather is killing people?’ What he’s clung to is [Dutton’s] commitments to his family and way of life. Dutton’s big failing is not evolving with the times — not finding different revenue streams [for the ranch]. Kevin felt season two was deviating from that, and I don’t know that he was wrong. In season three, we steered back into it.” Taylor also noted, “And I recall him [Kevin] winning a Golden Globe last year for his performance, so I think it’s working.”

There’s still no premiere date yet for the rest of Yellowstone season 5. Taylor confirmed to THR that he’s stopped writing on the show amidst the ongoing writers strike. But he did hint that there may be more final episodes coming than initially planned. “If I think it takes 10 episodes to wrap it up, they’ll give me 10,” Taylor said. “It’ll be as long as it needs to be.”