Latest Yellowstone Season 5 Update Hints at Costner's Character Death Off-Screen

Latest Yellowstone Season 5 Update Hints at Costner's Character Death Off-Screen
Image credit: Paramount

We've heard a lot of speculation, but an insider has confirmed that Costner will not appear in the finale.


  • Even before Paramount's official announcement, there was speculation that Kevin Costner would be leaving Yellowstone.
  • A new report confirms that he will not be returning for season 5, part 2.
  • Reasons for his departure include creative differences, money and scheduling conflicts.

Created by one of the most famous cowboys of the 21st century, Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone has been a huge hit since its release in 2018, becoming not only one of the most popular examples of the Western genre, but also one of the most watched shows in the history of American television. And of course, the main magnet of the series has always been John Dutton actor Kevin Costner, who, unfortunately, was the cause of the crazy drama behind the scenes of production.

Regarding the Hollywood A-lister's possible absence from Season 5, Part 2 and the rumors of conflict, Sheridan issued a statement.

'I don 't do f--k-you car crashes,' he said. 'Whether [Dutton's fate] inflates [Costner's] ego or insults is collateral damage that I don't factor in with regard to storytelling.'

But sadly, John's off-screen death, which would most likely be a 'f--k-you train station,' is likely as the latest report confirms that the actor is not expected to return to the set for the final chapter of the series.

Yellowstone Behind-the-Scenes Drama

Almost immediately after the release of the first half of season five, rumors began to circulate that the production was facing problems that could affect the series finale and that Costner might not return. Sadly, the rumors have been confirmed. In May 2023, Paramount revealed that Costner was leaving the project and that the second half of season 5 would be the series finale.

Costner Won't Appear in Season 5 Part 2 After All, Report Says

However, the announcement was rather vague, and fans and journalists continued to speculate whether the actor would return, at least for the final episode of the series. After all, the actual absence of the central character would be very disappointing, even for Sheridan, who conceived the plot and its finale long ago, when Yellowstone was planned as a feature film.

The fact that Kevin Costner will not appear in Part 2 was reported by insider Matt Belloni on his podcast The Town.

'Yellowstone will probably go back into production at the beginning of the year. So it could be out this spring or summer. Scripts are already written, I'm told, or are being written,' he shared. 'And the question is whether Costner is in those final episodes of this season of Yellowstone. And my understanding is that, as of now, he is not going to be in those episodes.'

Reasons for Costner's Departure

Most media outlets have reported rumors of a conflict between Kevin Costner and the production team over creative differences, scheduling issues and, not surprisingly, money.

Primarily, the disagreement stemmed from Sheridan's plan to split the season into two parts. This prevented Costner from working on his own ambitious project, a series of four feature-length westerns called Horizon: An American Saga. Costner demanded that all his scenes for Part 2 be shot in just one week!

In addition, Costner reported that he wanted to reopen negotiations with Sheridan and the team to return to the series, but they were unable to meet his demands.

'I couldn't help them any more,' he testified during his divorce from estranged wife Christine Baumgartner. 'We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons, there were issues with the creative… we came up with a number, and they [Yellowstone] walked away.'

Well, we're left waiting for John Dutton to arrive at the 'train station'. Maybe the reason will be that the kids are finally disappointed in him? With the Hollywood disputes settled, work is well underway and Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2 will be released sometime in 2024.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, The Town with Matthew Belloni, People.