Don’t shoot the messenger, Yellowstone fans, but I come bearing bad news. The alleged feud between Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan and series lead Kevin Costner may have led to the end of his time on the popular western. According to Entertainment Tonight, sources close to the Yellowstone production believe that Costner will not return following the Season Five finale. If the Dutton family continues on, it’ll be without its lead patriarch.
Of course, there are still more questions here than answers. Before Costner can even depart the series following the Season Five finale, we’re going to need confirmation that a Season Five finale will ever air. Yellowstone‘s fifth season has been on hiatus since the mid-season finale back in January—ending on a pretty significant cliffhanger as well. Fans were prepping for a big finale upon the show’s return, of course. But the New York Post revealed that Yellowstone is likely finished as a whole after Season Five, even if Costner returns.
As of today, there is no return date, production schedule, or script in place for Yellowstone. The reported feud between Sheridan and Costner—supposedly over everything from on-set egos to filming schedules—has left the cast and crew confused and frustrated. At the same time, the Writer’s Guild of America announced that it would go on strike starting May 1, 2023 as its members fight for better pay, meaning that any updates on production are likely not coming any time soon. In short? Everyone is in the dark. Even worse, it’s possible that the drama may lead to the crew never returning to finish Yellowstone.
Meanwhile, Paramount is moving forward with several spinoff series to keep the franchise alive. Taylor Sheridan currently has plans for a second season of 1923, a spinoff focusing on the 6666 Ranch, and another untitled series in the Yellowstone universeled by Matthew McConaughey. Until we get more information, this may be the last we’ve seen of John Dutton.
Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.