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

Kevin Costner in Season 5 of the Paramount hit, Yellowstone (Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Network)

Kevin Costner in Season 5 of the hit Paramount Yellowstone. (Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Network)

Could the Dutton ranch close for good? There are several reports out there Yellowstone star Kevin Costner may be about to part ways with Taylor Sheridan’s hit western series and a cornerstone of Paramount’s TV and streaming aspirations. Given the studio’s investment in Sheridan’s ever-expanding universe – not to mention the massive ratings for both the main series and the Paramount+ spin-offs 1883 And 1923 – there’s little chance of that Yellowstone disappear altogether, even as Costner heads for 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 goes on behind the scenes.

Stops Kevin Costner Yellowstone?

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

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

For Yellowstone‘s launch in 2018, Costner was largely phased out of a decades-spanning “leading man” era with major films like Taurus Durham, Dancing with wolves And Water world. Instead, the Oscar-winning actor and director largely took on supporting roles in everything from Man of Steel Unpleasant Hidden figures. Like many movie stars of his generation – think Jessica Lange American horror story and Jeff Daniels further The Newsroom – Costner turned to television in search of meaty star twists. And he’s definitely front and center Yellowstone as John Dutton III, the farm owner who has spent five seasons fending off challenges to his throne.

Costner’s still-powerful star power helped Yellowstone take to the air and bring in an audience that has grown over additional seasons. (The Season 5 premiere drew a record 12.1 million viewers last November.) But according to Variety, as the show’s popularity grew, the actor began to scale back his shooting days in what can be a grueling TV schedule. Deadline reports that Costner previously limited his time on set to 65 days and attempted to cut that back to 50 days for the first part of Season 5, which aired mid-season on Jan. 1.

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

Will Matthew McConaughey Join the Dutton Clan?

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

That’s how you know the Yellowstone franchise will be okay okay okay. Even before the Costner news broke, Paramount was reportedly in talks with Texas’ biggest movie star, Matthew McConaughey, about a new spin-off. According to Deadline, the as-yet-untitled show — may we introduce Magic Matt? – would take place in another corner of the Yellowstone universe and could potentially win over some of the other stars of the mothership series, including Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, and Kelly Reilly. Deadline sources also indicate that Paramount is now actively working on the spin-off as they continue to negotiate with Costner over Yellowstone‘s future.

Not surprisingly, Paramount is not announcing that the Dallas Buyers Club Oscar winner has actually signed on the dotted line. “Thanks to Taylor Sheridan’s brilliant mind, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world that he has built,” the same Paramount spokesperson told Deadline. “Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent who we love working with.”

If The Hollywood Reporter notes, it’s not uncommon for studios to use gaffes like this to make a star think twice about leaving. Floating with the idea of ​​ending Yellowstone for a McConaughey-led spinoff, a negotiating tactic could be to reach an agreement with Costner over an agreeable number of shooting days for the current and possible future seasons of Yellowstone. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave that guy with… No way out.

What does this mean for Faith Hill and Harrison Ford?

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

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

Regardless of what happens to Costner, the Yellowstone spinoffs 1883 And 1923 will continue to wander along the Paramount+ prairie. Although the 19th century set prequel series that depicted the founding of the Dutton ranch – and featuring Faith Hill as Costner’s great-grandmother – came to a final close, Sheridan revealed that Season 2 would focus on another Old West during that same era. yarn. Bring it on 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, starring David Oyelowo as the first black man to patrol the Wild West as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. Dennis Quaid will also appear on the show as a fictional police officer.

Meanwhile, the pre-Great Depression series 1923 — starring Harrison Ford as Costner’s great-uncle — was just picked up for season 2 in February. With strong ratings for the series, it’s likely to continue into the actual Great Depression as well.

What new Yellowstone upcoming gigs?

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

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

Believe it or not, there’s one more Yellowstone spin-off that has yet to gallop onto the screens. One of them is called 6666that is not takes place in the distant future. Instead, the title refers to a famous West Texas ranch that was featured in season 4 of Yellowstone. Originally announced in 2021, the series will also take place in the 19th century and depict the ranch’s early history. No casting has been revealed for it 6666but Paramount would like it to launch on Paramount Network later this year — especially if the studio is about to say “Goodbye, partner” to Costner.

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

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