Kevin Costner Speaks Out On ‘Yellowstone’ Drama: ‘All I did Was Protect Myself’


Kevin Costner is opening up about all the drama behind the scenes of “Yellowstone.”

In a new interview with Deadline, the two-time Oscar winner said he was fully committed to continuing on the hit series, as per his contract, but claimed there was no script for the second part of the show’s final season.

Costner, who plays John Dutton on the series, said he hasn’t “felt good” about narratives in the media concerning his status on “Yellowstone” and is now sharing his “real truth.”

“I didn’t shoot 5B,” Costner said of the second half of the show’s fifth season. “There was no script.”

“Yellowstone” aired the first half of its fifth season from November 2022 to January 2023. Paramount Network announced in November that the second half of the fifth season would premiere in November 2024. The network attributed the delayed production schedules to the Hollywood strikes.

During his chat with Deadline, Costner said he made a contract for seasons 5, 6 and 7 of the show. He did not specify when he made that contract.

The actor then said he was presented with another contract by the network, telling Deadline: “In February, after a two- or three-month negotiation, they made another contract. They wanted to redo that one, and instead of seasons 6 and 7, it was 5A and 5B, and maybe we’ll do 6. They weren’t able to make those.”

Speaking about prioritization of his projects, Costner said “‘Yellowstone’ was first position” and he was fitting his forthcoming Western epic film saga “‘Horizon’ into the gaps” of filming the show.

He added, “They just kept moving their gaps.”

Despite the delay in the flagship series, the “Yellowstone” brand has also grown exponentially. The first spinoff, “1883,” premiered in the middle of “Yellowstone” season 4, and the second, “1923,” premiered during the first half of “Yellowstone” season 5. The network has announced additional spinoffs “1944” and “2024,” both working titles, in November.

Addressing the numerous “Yellowstone” projects, Costner said it’s “fine” that creator Taylor Sheridan has expanded the franchise, however he expressed his frustration at what he claimed was a lack of support.

“…They were silent and that bothered me in the world of how you do things. Why don’t you stick up for me? I went and sold this thing for you,” he said. “I was going to only do one season. I made it for three. I fulfilled three. So, I went from one to three, then I did a fourth one for them, and they wanted to do three more. So, I made the contract to do that. They imploded.”


He added, “I had a contract to do [seasons] 5, 6 and 7. I was contracted to do that. There’s nothing I could have done to get out of that, nor was I trying to just figure out how, when we started. When we finished, I wanted to do ‘Horizon.’ It all happened because they shut down one whole season, didn’t tell anybody, and I didn’t work for 14 months.”

“All I did was protect myself, but I didn’t put myself in first position, over ‘Yellowstone.’ I filled the gaps,” he noted.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year, Sheridan said he had “never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone” previously, but he said this time was different.

“Once lawyers get involved, then people don’t get to talk to each other and start saying things that aren’t true and attempt to shift blame based on how the press or public seem to be reacting,” he said at the time. “He took a lot of this on the chin and I don’t know that anyone deserves it.”

Sheridan also wished Costner luck with his “Horizon” films, saying, “His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus. I sure hope [the movie is] worth it — and that it’s a good one.”

Despite all of this, Costner told Deadline he’s “very open to coming back” to “Yellowstone.”

“If they’ve got so many other things going on, maybe this circles back and it’s a really cool two seasons,” he suggested. “Or end it, if the writing’s there and I’m happy with it. I’m open to that. But I took a beating over these guys not speaking up for me and allowing crazy stories to come out.”

“I’m not happy about that,” he continued. “But if the writing is there, I will be there too. They had first position. I didn’t do ‘Horizon’ because I was tired of doing ‘Yellowstone.’ That’s a bulls*** story. I didn’t do ‘Horizon’ to compete with ‘Yellowstone.’ This is something I’ve had [for] a long time.”

“Good Morning America” has reached out to Costner, Sheridan and Paramount Network for comment.