Don't shoot the messenger, Yellowstone fans, but I come bearing bad news. The alleged feud between Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan and series lead Kevin Costner is reaching its fever pitch. Previous reports about the doomsday scenario for the popular western warned that the star would not be returning after the Season Five finale. Now, it seems further and further away from happening at all.
Speaking about the show for the first time during his divorce hearings, Costner said in his testimony that he will "probably go to court" over the Yellowstone drama. “We did negotiate," Costner revealed to Deadline, noting that he was already paid for Season Five and was offered $24 million for a potential sixth and seventh season. "There were issues about creative,” he continued. referencing his ongoing feud with creator Taylor Sheridan. "Somewhere along the line, they wanted to change things. They wanted to do 5A and 5B; [it] affected Horizon. I was going to do my movie Horizon and leave that show, do my movie, then do B. A show I was only doing once a year I was now doing twice."
Yellowstone's fifth season has been on hiatus since the midseason finale back in January—ending on a pretty significant cliffhanger. Fans were prepping for a big finale upon the show's return for what Costner referred to as Season 5B, of course. But when Costner pulled the plug, it put the entire series in limbo. He's also dealing with his divorce to estranged wife Christine Baumgartner. The relationship was reportedly tested by his filming schedule on Yellowstone and Horizon, which may have led to the couple's separation after 19 years of marriage.
As of today, there is no return date, production schedule, or script in place for the second-half of Yellowstone Season Five. The reported feud between Sheridan and Costner—supposedly over everything from on-set egos to filming schedules—has left the cast and crew confused and frustrated. According to Hollywood insider and The Town podcast host Matthew Belloni, the rest of the episodes are reportedly being written with various levels of Costner's involvement in place. The actor allegedly won't sign off on a potential return until he's happy with the way Sheridan decides to write him off from the franchise.
At the same time, the Writer's Guild of America has been on strike since May 1, as its members fight for better pay, meaning that any updates on production are likely not coming any time soon. Paramount originally wanted to finish Season Five out for a November 2023 release, but there are a lot of street lights that have to turn green before they can hit the gas. In short? Everyone is in the dark. Even worse, it's possible that the drama may lead to the crew never returning to finish Yellowstone.
Meanwhile, Paramount is moving forward with several spinoff series to keep the franchise alive. Taylor Sheridan currently has plans for a second season of 1923, a spinoff focusing on the 6666 Ranch, and a new sequel series starring Matthew McConaughey. It'll be the first new project for the Paramount Network that retains Yellowstone in the title—which is a big positive for a series that once sold its streaming rights to Peacock. But with the strike and Costner's situation up in the air, it'll be lucky if it airs before 2025. Until we get more information, this may be the last we've seen of John Dutton.
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