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The Yellowstone patriarch Kevin Costner has changed his mind, and quits the show (and any spinoffs or movies)

On the eve of his new movie, Kevin Costner goes full John-Dutton on the Yellowstone show

Image credit: 101 Studios

"Leverage is knowing that if someone had all the money in the world, this is what they'd buy."

That's a famous line spoken by Kevin Costner's Yellowstone character, John Dutton. The line from the very first episode of the hit series is attributed to Yellowstone co-creator and showrunner Taylor Sheridan, but now Costner himself is evoking a bit more of his character's swagger in walking away from the table, permanently.

Costner, who has openly had issues with the direction of Yellowstone's latter seasons and several delays to shooting the final season, has gone on social media to say he's decided not to return to the show - ever. And he's promoting his replacment project as part of that announcement.

“I just want to reach out and let you know that after this long year and a half of working on Horizon and doing all the things that that’s required, and thinking about Yellowstone, that beloved series that I love, that I know you love," Costner says in a video posted on all of his social media accounts. "I just realized that I’m not going to be able to continue, season five or into the future.”

This is a stark contrast to what Costner said in a Deadline interview published May 13, 2024, saying that, despite issues with the production team, he was open to returning.

"I’m very open to coming back. If they’ve got so many other things going on, maybe this circles back and it’s a really cool two seasons," said Costner. "I’m not happy about that. But if the writing is there, I will be there too."

Why did Kevin Costner quit Yellowstone?

Image credit: Paramount

According to Costner, in February 2024 he signed a contract with Paramount and 101 Studios to do both the second half of Yellowstone season 5, as well as a sixth season fo the show. So what changed?

First, Paramount announced the Yellowstone season 5 part 2 release date as November 10, with filming already underway.

Second, the first of Costner's four-part movie series Horizon: An American Saga debuts in just one week. While tha hasn't changed, what has most likely happened since whenever recently that Deadline interview has happened, is box office estimates as to how Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 will do... as well as the work needed to finish the sequel, set for release August 16.

“I loved it and I know you loved it, and I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be returning,” Costner said in his video confirming he has closed the door on Yellowstone. “I love the relationship we’ve been able to develop, and I’ll see you at the movies.”

In an early episode of Yellowstone, Costner's character said laywers that things are changing and "words are weapons now." As he advised his son in the hit TV show, Costner is learning how to use them - in social media and in the press.

Watch Yellowstone and its spinoffs in chronological and release order ahead of the season 5 finale.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant: Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)


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