Kevin Costner left “disappointed” by studio and “untrue rumours” following ‘Yellowstone’ exit

Kevin Costner has spoken about his decision to leave Yellowstone after playing the show’s protagonist, John Dutton, for four and a half seasons. In a new interview, he addressed the “untrue” rumours regarding his decision to leave.

As Yellowstone first aired in 2018, Costner’s character, John Dutton, instantly had audiences gripped by the Western drama series. Described as “The Godfather in Montana”, the show follows the Dutton family with their in-fighting and conflicts with neighbouring communities. Costner’s role sat at the heart of the family drama.

However, after four and a half seasons, the Oscar-winning actor departed the show. In a cover story for People magazine, he said he “read all the stories” in the press regarding rumours about his decision, claiming he was “disappointed” that no one from the show’s studio has spoken out in his defence.

Kevin Costner left “disappointed” by studio and “untrue rumours” following ‘Yellowstone’ exit

“I was disappointed that nobody on [the studio] side… ever stepped up to defend what it was I actually did for them,” Costner said. “There came a moment where I thought, ‘Wow, when is somebody going to say something about what I have done versus what I haven’t done?’”

In reality, his decision to leave Yellowstone was more logistical than anything, as it was decided that the show’s fifth season would be split into two parts. He said that there was a clear date set where he would be able to resume production on his directorial effort Horizon, but that the scrips for the second half of the Yellowstone season didn’t come in before that, essentially forcing his hand when it came to his priorities.

He made it clear that he gladly “stepped up” as Yellowstone was expanding into longer seasons and bigger budgets and audiences, adding: “I said, ‘I’ll do it for three seasons’, and I ended up doing it for five.” He was also more than happy to continue with the series he was halfway through, but then when the material didn’t come in on time, he didn’t want to half his career for an indefinite pause.

Kevin Costner open to more ‘Yellowstone’ after series exit – Los Angeles Times

“There was a moment where that show for me stopped for 14 months…that’s the fact,” Costner said. “I could have done a lot of things in that time, but I wasn’t aware that that [hold-up] was going to happen.”

Kevin Costner open to more 'Yellowstone' after series exit - Los Angeles  Times
However, the actor has said that he would love to close out his character arc and give John Dutton a proper ending. The first half of the show’s fifth season aired in 2022, and the final six episodes are still currently in production with plans to air in November 2024.

“I would love to go back under the right circumstances,” Costner told Today. “I think that all of us want. For me, it really needs to be the right circumstances…Saying there’s a chance, there’s always a chance. love the thing. You’ve got to be really clear about that.”

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