Report: Kevin Costner won’t return to Yellowstone after season 5

Back in February, reports swirled that Yellowstone — the hugely popular Paramount Network show about a Montana ranching family headed up by John Dutton (Kevin Costner) — might be ending early, mainly because Costner is unwilling to commit to the hours necessary to shoot the rest of season 5.

There’s been a lot of back and forth since then: Costner’s lawyer strongly denied the claims, and Paramount itself made a wishy-washy statement. But it’s clear that something’s going on. For one, there’s still no word on when the team might reunite to shoot the remaining episodes of season 5. Costner, showrunner Taylor Sheridan and other cast members were no-shows at PaleyFest even though they were previously announced as being on a panel. And it’s looking more and more likely that Matthew McConaughey will join the Yellowstone universe, either on his own spinoff or as part of Yellowstone season 6; word is he’s being brought in to “replace” Costner.

It’s possible this is all just smoke…but that’s a lot of smoke, and by this point a lot of people are convinced there’s a fire.

Sounds like Kevin Costner is leaving Yellowstone

And the rumors continue today. Sources tell ET Online that Costner will not return to the show after season 5, which still has a block of episodes left to film. That’s slightly different from earlier reports that had the series ending with season 5 before transitioning to a McConaughey-led spinoff. Perhaps they’re retooling to just bring McConaughey onto the original show. Either way, it’s looking increasingly likely that the future of Yellowstone won’t include Kevin Costner.

As for why Costner might be leaving, we have only speculation. We’ve heard that he wants to focus on writing and directing a western called Horizon. Maybe he just wants some down time. It recently came out that he and his wife Christine Costner are divorcing after 18 years of marriage, so that can’t be fun.

Or again, maybe it’s all just hot air…but I’d be surprised.

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