'It's Time to Answer the Slings and Arrows,' Kevin Costner Shares His Story Behind the Yellowstone Exit

'It's Time to Answer the Slings and Arrows,' Kevin Costner Shares His Story Behind the Yellowstone Exit
Image credit: Paramount

The actor has so far remained silent despite the backlash from fans.


  • Season 5 of Yellowstone has been hectic.
  • Kevin Costner says he fulfilled every contract he signed with the studio.
  • The actor says he is not to blame for Yellowstone's decline.

Few shows are as popular as Taylor Sheridan's neo-western drama Yellowstone. And few shows are as mired in scandal as this one. Over the past few years, Yellowstone has made headlines when it was delayed multiple times, when it was announced that Season 5, which premiered in late 2022, would be its last, and when Kevin Costner was said to be leaving the show.

Costner, who plays Yellowstone's central character, John Dutton III, was said to be leaving the show to focus on his passion project, Horizon, the upcoming neo-western movie series he mortgaged his own estate to finance. Naturally, fans of T. Sheridan's drama were none too happy, and Costner saw a backlash for his 'selfish' move. But it seems that the story is not so one-dimensional.

Kevin Costner Opens Up about His Side of the Yellowstone Drama

'I made a contract for seasons five, six and seven. In February, after a two- or three-month negotiation, they made another contract. They wanted to redo that one, and instead of seasons six and seven, it was 5A and 5B, and maybe we'll do six. They weren't able to make those,' Kevin Costner said of the tumultuous production of Yellowstone.

At the same time, the Yellowstone star said he simply couldn't afford to sit around doing nothing and waiting for the show's seasons to be completed. So he slipped Horizon into the ever-changing gaps between seasons of Yellowstone, which was still his top priority.

'I left my movie to be on time for them for 5B. I left exactly when they wanted, and it made it hard on me. It turns out they didn't have the scripts for 5B. They needed four more days just to complete the first eight episodes,' Costner commented on his involvement in the making of Yellowstone's fifth season.

A Change of Plans

According to the actor, he wasn't even supposed to star in Yellowstone.

'It's Time to Answer the Slings and Arrows,' Kevin Costner Shares His Story Behind the Yellowstone Exit - image 1

Costner was originally hired for one season. Then he stayed on for three more, and a contract was signed for another three. But things 'imploded,' Costner was out of a job for fourteen months, and the studio rewrote the contract for a two-part fifth season and a possible sixth. And when it came time to shoot Season 5, the scripts weren't ready, which prompted the actor, who wasn't about to sit around any longer, to focus more on Horizon.

Ultimately, Kevin Costner is open to returning to Yellowstone, despite the hatred he received from the studio and fans of the show who were told he had abandoned it. As soon as the scripts are ready, the actor will be the first to show up on set, if he is still needed on the show.

Part 2 of Yellowstone's fifth season will premiere on November 10 after a two-year hiatus. Kevin Costner's Horizon will be released on June 28 and August 16.

Source: Deadline.