Hit series Yellowstone has taken the highs stakes drama off-screen as reports have surfaced claiming protagonist Kevin Costner may leave the show before the end of season five.
The top-rated Western drama is currently on a hiatus following the release of the first half of the latest season, with filming scheduled for the second half this March. However, insiders have told The Hollywood Reporter it’s possible Yellowstone could be over.
News on Costner’s potential departure was first reported by Deadline, which stated that Yellowstone‘s co-creator Taylor Sheridan and the Paramount Network have considered wrapping up their signature show as is, and instead, create a new spin-off series with Matthew McConaughey as the potential lead.
“We have no news to report,” a Paramount Network spokesperson said.
“Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner.”
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Per Deadline, the show’s behind-the-scenes drama emerged following issues with Costner’s shooting schedule.
Sources have told the publication that Costner had originally agreed to a 65-day shooting schedule for the show, then only wanted to shoot for 50 during the actual production for the first half of the current season.
Now, for the second half of Yellowstone season five, Costner only wants to spend a week on set.
It is understood that Costner is also starring, and directing, another Western film called Horizon, which may be the root cause of the actor’s availability conflict.
But since Costner plays John Dutton, the patriarch of the Dutton family, his significant lack of time on set has started to cause issues for the show’s other stars.
Prior to Conster’s alleged departure, Sheridan had previously hinted that the show’s latest season might finally be the season a member of the Dutton family gets killed off.
“If you look at everyone as a chess piece in [Yellowstone] season five, it is impossible to keep playing the game without taking chess pieces off the board,” he had previously told Entertainment Tonight.
Although Sheridan had previously said that season five was not the end of Yellowstone, this may now not be the case.
The Western drama has become the most-watched on cable television since it launched in 2018 with its cast regularly being nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
The massive success of Yellowstone has also created multiple spinoffs, including 1923 which stars Hollywood royalty, Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford, and takes us a century back before Kevin Costner’s John Dutton and his family run the iconic Dutton ranch.
While the fate of Yellowstone is still up in the air, fans of the hit series are still able to stream the first half of Yellowstone season five and its previous four seasons on Stan.