When did Kevin Costner leave Yellowstone? Full timeline of the drama 

"Horizon: An American Saga" Press Conference - The 77th Annual Cannes Film Festival
When did Kevin Costner quit Yellowstone? (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

In the show Yellowstone, Kevin Costner played the role of protagonist John Dutton a Montana rancher who owns one of the biggest ranches in the United States. Yellowstone is an American neo-western drama series, created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson. The first season of Yellowstone premiered on June 20, 2018, on Paramount+ and this show has had five seasons to date.

Kevin left Yellowstone after the last episode of the first part of season five, which aired on January 1, 2023. He left the series because season 5 was split into two parts. Even after negotiations with the team, he did not seem happy enough to continue, and the script too, was not ready on time.

Yellowstone is about the Dutton family, who own the titular ranch, which is the largest in all of America. However, outsiders are consistently on the lookout for ways to take parts of the land, leading to complications, rivalries, and sometimes even murder.

The official synopsis of the series reads:

"Oscar and Emmy winner Kevin Costner is the marquee attraction of the ensemble cast in this drama series, starring......Amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect, Dutton's property is in constant conflict with those it borders -- an expanding town, an Indian reservation, and America's first national park."

As we delve deep into this article, let us explore the full timeline of the drama and see in detail what made Costner leave the show.

Kevin Costner leaving Yellowstone: Timeline explored

January 1, 2023: Yellowstone airs season five midseason finale


It was during the season five, midseason finale of Yellowstone when Paramount+ ran a thirty-second video, hinting at a summer return for the rest of the season.

However, the season was pushed back later.

February 6, 2023: Yellowstone hints at a possible end

Multiple reports stated that Yellowstone can end earlier than expected. A Deadline report stated that there were disagreements with Costner, because of the shooting schedules. He wanted to spend just one week shooting the second half of season five.

February 13, 2022 - Kevin Costner wins the Golden Globe

Kevin Costner won the Golden Globe Award for his role as John Dutton in the show Yellowstone. He couldn’t attend the award ceremony because of weather conditions, so he uploaded a thank-you video on social media for his fans. However, he did not mention Yellowstone.

February 25, 2023- Wes Bentley chats with Entertainment Weekly about the ending of Yellowstone

Wes Bentley, who plays Jamie Dutton on Yellowstone, talked about the show's ending. He said in his statement to Entertainment Weekly:

"The news that's come out recently about the show is, you know, it's above my pay grade. Different people making decisions....working things out with everyone, to make sure we shoot. And I'm confident we will. We always have before. I think it's probably a bit of drama over nothing."

April 1, 2023 - Yellowstone cast doesn’t show up

Fans were furious when a group of Yellowstone cast, including Kevin Costner, who plays John Dutton, didn’t show up at the PaleyFest.

However, later it was revealed to Entertainment Weekly, that he will be a part of the show in the upcoming seasons.

May 5, 2023: News states that Yellowstone is ending

A news report by The Hollywood Reporter stated that the show is ending and the final episodes will air in November 2023. There was no update about Kevin Costner and his return to shoot for the second half of Yellowstone's fifth season.

June 21, 2023 - Taylor Sheridan tells The Hollywood Reporter about his last conversation with Kevin

According to the conversations and reports, Kevin was directing another project at the time. The parties were talking about a date when Kevin could officially quit Yellowstone.

Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter about how he is disappointed by Kevin’s decision to quit the show and how it truncates the closure of his character.

July 21, 2023 - News about the final episodes of Yellowstone

The Hollywood Reporter dropped another piece of news, that the final episodes of Yellowstone will drop in 2024 because of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

September 1, 2023 - Kevin talks about why he quit Yellowstone

Kevin talked about why he left Yellowstone (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Kevin talked about why he left Yellowstone (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Kevin Costner told People, that he had changed his schedule, to shoot the second half of Yellowstone but there were no scripts written for the second half. He also revealed that the show hired him on a pay-or-play basis, where he gets paid whether production happens or not.

For season 5, he was supposed to get $12 million per half. Kevin stated he wanted to go to court when asked if he had been paid for the second half of season 5. In season 6 of Yellowstone, he revealed that he quit because the show offered him less money, along with other creative issues.

May 13, 2024 - Kevin talked about the rumors

Kevin talked to Deadline and revealed that the rumors about him prioritizing Horizon over Yellowstone were all false. He said that he made Yellowstone his priority but the team let him down and the script wasn’t even ready.

Kevin Costner's character in Yellowstone has yet to witness a formal exit from the show.

All 5 seasons of Yellowstone are now playing on Netflix.

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Edited by Bharath S
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