Movie Reviews

Kevin Costner Not Returning To Yellowstone, Explains Decision In Video To Fans


  • After much speculation and reporting of behind-the-scenes conflict, Kevin Costner confirms he won’t return for
    season 5 part 2.
  • Costner took to social media to explain his decision not to return to the show moving forward.
  • This concludes a reportedly lengthy standoff between Costner and showrunner Taylor Sheridan that ultimately resulted in the flagship series coming to an end with season 5.

Yellowstone star Kevin Costner explains his decision to exit the show, sending a message to fans on social media. The series-ending episodes of Yellowstone season 5 part 2 are on track for a November 10 premiere, as the neo-Western drama recently began production. But the involvement of Costner, and whether he’ll reprise the pivotal role of John Dutton, has remained an open question after the Oscar-winning actor’s very public feud with franchise creator Taylor Sheridan over reported issues such as scheduling and script approval.

Costner has now put that speculation to rest, taking to Instagram to explain why he won’t return for Yellowstone season 5 part 2. While mentioning his upcoming film Horizon: An American Saga, which arrives in theaters on June 28 in the U.S., Costner confirms that he won’t be back as John Dutton, neither for these latest episodes nor in the future. The statement and the video are included below:

“Hi everyone. I just want to reach out and let you know that after this long year-and-a-half of working on Horizon, doing all the things that that’s required, and thinking about Yellowstone, that beloved series that I love, that I know you love, I just realized that I’m not going to be able to continue season 5b or into the future. It was something that really changed me, I loved it, and I know you loved it, and I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be returning. And I love the relationship we’ve been able to develop, and I’ll see you at the movies.”

What Does Kevin Costner’s Absence Mean For Yellowstone’s End?

Is John Dutton About To Die Off-Screen?

The ending of season 5 part 1 heavily involves John’s centrality to the Yellowstone cast, as he is key to a brewing feud between siblings Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley). They’re on the path of mutually assured destruction, with both threatening to release incriminating photos to ruin one another. Beth and Jamie are seemingly ready to kill each other to nullify that threat. A major part of that hatred stems from the fact that Beth is unhappy with how Jamie publicly attacks their father, John.

Now that Costner is confirmed not to return for the Yellowstone farewell, the question becomes whether John Dutton will be killed off in an off-screen way. That is not an uncommon approach in television, with John Ritter and the sitcom 8 Simple Rules serving as a famous example, and that could change the tone of the story, with Beth and Jamie putting aside their differences after an unexpected loss. However, given the reported “moral death” clause in Costner’s contract, the manner of John’s passing will be closely watched.

Away from the speculation of how the Paramount Network will send off the show and how it sets up the Yellowstone sequel series, Costner’s relatively brief social media message brings an end to months of back-and-forth about whether the Horizon filmmaker would return to his notable TV role. Even as Costner expressed an openness to working with Sheridan, he has also taken time to give his side of the story and express disappointment in how the off-screen Yellowstone disagreements were handled. At this point, it may be better for all sides to move on.

Source: Kevin Costner / Instagram

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