Kevin Costner Announces He's Done with 'Yellowstone': 'I'm Not Going to Be Able to Continue'


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it. 

Kevin Costner announced on social media that he won’t be returning for the final half-season of the Paramount series “Yellowstone.”

Costner has played rancher and family patriarch John Dutton in the modern-day Western set in Montana since 2018.

The actor is set to star in “Horizon: An American Saga,” a four-part feature film series, which he directed and co-wrote, set in the Old West around the time of the Civil War. The first chapter of the story hits theaters on June 28.

“I want to reach out and let you know that after this long year and a half of working on Horizon and doing all the things that’s required, and thinking about Yellowstone, that beloved series that I love, that I know you love, I just realized that I’m not going to be able to continue Season 5B or into the future,” Costner said in a video posted on X on June 20.

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“It was something that really changed me,” he said. “I loved it. And I know you loved it. And I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be returning and I love the relationship we’ve been able to develop and I’ll see you at the movies.”

Costner had expressed a desire to be part of “Yellowstone’s” final episodes but indicated there had been problems with the production schedule.

Have you ever watched “Yellowstone”?

“I’ve always felt that … It might be an interesting moment to come back and finish the mythology of this modern-day family. And if that happens, I would step into it if I agreed with how it was being done,” he told People magazine.

The actor also voiced some frustration that he had been making “Yellowstone” a front-burner priority, but there was a long stretch when he was idle.

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

Costner told People that when “Yellowstone” was originally pitched to him by show creator Taylor Sheridan, it was to be one season, like a “long movie.”

He said when Paramount wanted more, he stepped up and agreed to do three seasons, “and I ended up doing it for five.”

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Costner reiterated these points on NBC’s “Today” on June 17 when asked about a possible return to “Yellowstone.”

“Number one, I did it for five years, OK, and I want to work more than once a year. We lost an entire year at one point and I thought, ‘Well that can’t ever happen again.’ It was well over a year,” he said.

Costner added: “And I said, ‘I just have to be in position to make the things.’ There’s a chance to do both of them, but material has to be ready at certain times, and we weren’t able to do that.”

“Horizon” is a passion project for Costner, who first conceived the story back in 1988. He has sunk a considerable amount of the financial assets that he has accumulated through his entertainment career to see it produced, including mortgaging his home.

“Today” host Savannah Guthrie quoted from a recent interview in which Costner said, “I’m as far out of a limb as I have ever been,” and asked the 69-year-old why he would take such a risk at this point in his life.

He responded that he decided to let his heart’s desire to make the movie control him over the fear of losing his wealth. But Costner added that he has reserved enough that he’ll be OK for the rest of his life — and his children will be, too.

The Hollywood veteran noted how moving it was to receive a seven-minute standing ovation for “Horizon” following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last month in France with five of his kids standing by his side.

In addition to “Horizon,” Costner has starred in several movies set in the Old West, including “Silverado” (1985), “Dances with Wolves” (1990) and “Wyatt Earp” (1994).

Costner won the Academy Award for best director and best picture for “Dances with Wolves” in 1991.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith