What Kevin Costner Hated About Making Yellowstone Years Before He Refused To Finish The Series

Kevin Costner's Yellowstone exit took many by surprise but he revealed his frustrations with the show years earlier.

Kevin Costner’s decision to quit Yellowstone was motivated by his desire to focus on a movie series.
Costner revealed that salary negotiations with the show’s producers broke down, resulting in his departure.
Costner had already expressed frustration with the show’s production.
During Kevin Costner‘s time in the public eye, the talented actor has portrayed several fascinating characters. Still, an entire generation of TV fans now know Costner best for portraying his famed Yellowstone character John Dutton.

In the years since he began portraying John Dutton, many fans have followed what Costner’s Yellowstone co-stars have said about him. However, it seems like very few Yellowstone fans noticed when Costner first expressed his frustrations with the show’s creative process.

Why Did Kevin Costner Quit Yellowstone?
When Yellowstone premiered in 2018, there was no way for anyone to know how successful it would be. Easily one of the most successful shows of its era, Yellowstone became so popular that fans wanted to know everything they could about it.

Not only has Yellowstone been widely successful, but it has also spawned a pair of spin-offs to date. Thanks to all that success, it seemed like it would be a no-brainer that everyone involved would want to keep the gravy train going.

To the surprise of most Yellowstone fans, it was revealed that the show’s star Kevin Costner decided to quit. Following that news, there were two things that loyal Yellowstone fans really wanted to know.

The first question that fans were the most curious about was whether Yellowstone would continue following Costner’s exit. Ultimately, Paramount would reveal that Yellowstone’s fifth season would be the show’s last. However, the franchise will continue with a third spin-off series that is set to star Matthew McConaughey.

The second question that Yellowstone fans wanted answered was a lot simpler, why? Why would Kevin Costner choose to quit an incredibly successful show?

In June 2023, Yellowstone co-creator and actor Taylor Sheridan was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter. During the resulting conversation, Sheridan was asked to address Costner quitting Yellowstone and he gave his perspective on what led to the actor’s exit.

“My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct. He and the network were arguing about when he could be done with Yellowstone. I said, ‘We can certainly work a schedule toward [his preferred exit date],’ which we did.”

Sheridan went on to blame lawyers for a lot of the drama surrounding Costner quitting. “My opinion of Kevin as an actor hasn’t altered. His creation of John Dutton is symbolic and powerful … and I’ve never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone. But 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.”

To Sheridan’s credit, he went on to argue that Costner hasn’t deserved some of the flack he has received. Sheridan also went on to say he hoped Costner would be satisfied by his next role.

“He took a lot of this on the chin and I don’t know that anyone deserves it. 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.”

Finally, Sheridan went on to express his disappointment with how Costner quitting Yellowstone affected the show’s ending. “I’m disappointed. It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.”

In 2023, Kevin Costner was involved in a legal battle with his second wife who he was in the process of divorcing. Since Costner and his soon-to-be ex-wife were fighting over alimony and child support, the amount of money the actor makes now mattered.

During court testimony, Costner was asked to explain his decision to leave Yellowstone. Given that Costner was under oath at the time, the comments he made during his testimony should be taken very seriously.

Based on what Costner testified, the actor’s decision to leave Yellowstone was motivated by three things. First off, Costner agreed that he wanted to leave the show to focus on the movie series Horizon: An American Saga. Secondly, Costner explained that there were “creative” issues.

Most notably, Costner revealed that salary negotiations with Yellowstone’s producers broke down. “I couldn’t help them any more. We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons, there were issues with the creative…”

According to Costner, he instructed his agents to go to the network with a number, and then his bosses responded surprisingly. On the stand, Costner testified that after he asked for $12 million, Yellowstone’s producers walked away from the bargaining table.

When Did Kevin Costner First Get Frustrated With Yellowstone?

After the success of Yellowstone’s first season, IndieWire interviewed Kevin Costner about the show in 2019. At that point, it would be years before most Yellowstone fans would have any idea that Costner was frustrated with how Yellowstone was produced.

Unfortunately for Costner and Taylor Sheridan, it turns out that Yellowstone’s star was already frustrated with the show. The reason for that is Costner was unhappy with changes in how Yellowstone was produced following the first season.

According to what Costner told IndieWire, he and Sheridan had collaborated closely during the production of the show’s first season. That access allowed Costner the opportunity to have input into how his character John Dutton was handled.

Following the mammoth success of Yellowstone’s first season, things changed behind the scenes according to Costner. Since Sheridan brought in several more writers to help him behind the scenes, Costner told IndieWire that he lost the access he previously enjoyed.

“We’ve dealt with things, but this second season was a combination of a writers’ room and him, so that wasn’t exactly clear. Now it’s just a straight writers’ room.”

On top of being frustrated with the creative process back then, Costner also told IndieWire that he struggled with the pressures of starring in an ongoing series. “It hasn’t been an easy adjustment for me.”

Related Articles

Back to top button
error: Content is protected !!

Adblock Detected