Kevin Costner leaving ‘Yellowstone’? Everything you need to know about the state of the hit franchise

Kevin Costner on Season 5 of Paramount's hit Yellowstone (Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Network)

Kevin Costner in the fifth season of the Paramount hit Yellowstone. (Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Network)

Could Dutton’s ranch close permanently? Various reports are emerging that Yellowstone star Kevin Costner may be about to break with Taylor Sheridan’s hit western series and a linchpin in Paramount’s TV and streaming ambitions. Given the studio’s investment in Sheridan’s ever-expanding universe, not to mention the huge ratings for both the main series and its Paramount+ spinoffs 1883 AND 1923 – there is little chance of Yellowstone leaving altogether, even as Costner heads towards greener pastures. But the face of the franchise may look a little different in the future. Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on behind the scenes.

Is Kevin Costner stepping down? Yellowstone?

Kelly Reilly and Costner in an episode of the fifth season of Yellowstone.  (Photo: Courtesy of Paramount)

Kelly Reilly and Costner in a season 5 episode of Yellowstone. (Photo: Courtesy of Paramount)

Prior to Yellowstone‘s in 2018, Costner was largely out of a decades-long era of “starring” that included major films like Durham bull, Dance with wolves AND Water world. Instead, the Oscar-winning actor and director was largely taking supporting roles in everything from Man of Steel TO Hidden figures. Like many movie stars of her generation, she thinks of Jessica Lange american horror story and Jeff Daniels on The editorial staff – Costner transitioned to television in search of meaty star turns. And he’s certainly front and center Yellowstone as John Dutton III, the ranch owner who has been fending off challenges to his throne for five seasons.

Costner’s still powerful star power helped Yellowstone air and attract an audience that has grown over the other seasons. (The season five premiere drew a record 12.1 million viewers last November.) But second Variety, as the show’s popularity grew, the actor began cutting back on his filming days in what can be a grueling TV schedule. Deadline reports that Costner previously limited his time on set to 65 days and has been looking to cut that down to 50 days for the first part of season 5, which airs its mid-season finale on Jan. 1.

For the second half of the season — originally slated to premiere sometime this summer — Costner informed Paramount that he wanted to shoot all of his scenes in one week, a request that may be due to the fact that he’s also in the midst of directing and protagonist of the feature film Horizon for New Line Cinema. Paramount reportedly rejected that proposal, creating the current deadlock. At the same time, neither Costner nor Paramount have said they will officially walk away. “We have no news to report,” a Paramount Network spokesperson told Deadline. “Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope it will be that way for a long time to come.”

Will Matthew McConaughey join the Dutton clan?

AUSTIN, TEXAS - APRIL 19: University of Texas Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for the University of Texas at Austin's new multi-use arena at Moody Center on April 19, 2022 in Austin, Texas .  (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Matthew McConaughey attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for the University of Texas at Austin’s new multi-use arena at Moody Center on April 19, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

This is how you know the Yellowstone franchise will be okay okay okay. Even before the Costner news, Paramount was reportedly in talks with Texas’ biggest movie star Matthew McConaughey to direct another spinoff. According to Deadline, the still untitled show – we can suggest Magic Matt? – would have taken place in another corner of the Yellowstone universe and could potentially involve some of the other stars of the Mothership series, including Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly. Deadline’s sources also indicate that Paramount is now actively pursuing the spinoff as they continue to negotiate with Costner about it. Yellowstonethe future.

Unsurprisingly, Paramount isn’t announcing that the Dallas Buyers Club The Oscar winner actually signed on the dotted line. “Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world that she has built,” the Paramount spokesperson himself told Deadline. “Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent that we would love to collaborate with.”

AS The Hollywood Reporter notes, it’s not uncommon for studios to use this kind of calculated risk to make a star think twice before walking away. Floating the idea of ​​finishing Yellowstone in favor of a McConaughey-led spinoff could be a negotiating tactic to find common ground with Costner over an acceptable number of shooting days for current and potential future seasons of Yellowstone. After all, wouldn’t you want to leave the boy with… No way out.

What does this mean for Faith Hill and Harrison Ford?

Harrison Ford as Jacob Dutton in the Yellowstone prequel, 1923. (Photo: Emerson Miller/Paramount+)

Harrison Ford as Jacob Dutton in Yellowstone prequel 1923. (Photo: Emerson Miller/Paramount+)

Regardless of what happens with Costner, the Yellowstone spin off 1883 AND 1923 will continue to wander along the Paramount+ prairie. Though the 19th-century-set prequel series detailing the founding of the Dutton ranch — and featuring Faith Hill as Costner’s great-grandmother — had come to a definitive conclusion, Sheridan revealed that season two would focus on a different strand of the Old Man. West in that same era. After you 1883: The Bass Reeves story, starring David Oyelowo as the first black man to patrol the Wild West as a Deputy US Marshal. Dennis Quaid will also appear on the show as a fictional lawman.

Meanwhile, the pre-Great Depression series 1923 — starring Harrison Ford as Costner’s great-great-uncle — was just picked up for a second season in February. With strong ratings for the series, he’s likely to continue even in the current Great Depression.

Novelty Yellowstone shows are on the horizon?

Creator, director and executive producer Taylor Sheridan (L) poses with cast members Kevin Costner and Kelly Reilly at the television series premiere

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan with Reilly and Costner at the show’s 2018 series premiere. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Believe it or not, there is yet another Yellowstone spin-off that has yet to gallop on the screens. One of them is called 6666which is Not set in the distant future. Instead, the title refers to a famous West Texas ranch that was seen in the fourth season of Yellowstone. Originally announced in 2021, the series will also take place in the 19th century and detail the early history of the ranch. No casting has been revealed for 6666but Paramount would like it to launch on the Paramount Network later this year, especially if the studio is about to say “Goodbye, man” to Costner.

Yellowstone currently airs on the Paramount Network; past seasons are streaming on Peacock.

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