As most observant readers have probably noticed, there is a war in the Yellowstone camp. After Paramount (highly unexpectedly!) announced a pause in the fifth season of its flagship series, Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone, there has been a difficult-to-overview chaos regarding the series’ future.
Yellowstone takes place in today’s Montana and revolves around the powerful Dutton family’s bookkeeping dynasty and all their intrigues, conflicts, and apparent lust for power.
The family head is John Dutton, played exemplarily by Costner. For four seasons, we have followed the difficulties of preserving the ranch, cattle breeding, and lifestyle – with all possible means.
Shortly after the New Year, Paramount released the shock news that season 5 of Yellowstone suddenly got a break; at the same time, the season was divided into two parts. The fifth season, which had then barely reached halfway, took a loooong break so that episode 8 (“A Knife and No Coin”) became the last for many months! As recently as December, it was said that the season finale would take place on February 20th – but now it is (still) postponed indefinitely.
So far, the only thing Paramount has shared with fans and the press is that:
Season 5 is slated to return in the summer of 2023, though an exact date has not yet been set.
The production stop is apparently due to disagreements between the series’ creator Taylor Sheridan and the series’ undisputed star: Kevin Costner.
According to Deadline, Costner is dissatisfied that the recording of Yellowstone is taking too long and thus conflicts with other projects he is involved in. He apparently has not committed to as many recording days as Sheridan & Co would like.
Planning other projects is not easy either with the unpredictable production, where the versatile Sheridan writes the series during the actual recording and can suddenly add additional episodes. One thing is for sure, not a second of the series has been recorded since October/November last year…
Shortly after the news of the season 5 hiatus broke out, rumors began to swirl that a new star would step into the Yellowstone universe: Matthew McConaughey. Character actor McConaughey is certainly no novice in the TV medium; in 2014, he played one of the lead roles in one of the best TV series of all time: True Detective, season 1.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, CBSViacom’s CEO Chris McCarthy now confirms that the company has contracted McConaughey for the Yellowstone universe:
Matthew McConaughey is lined up to star in a Yellowstone extension, which will move forward regardless of whether Costner returns to the original.
It remains to be seen if Matthew McConaughey will play in a new spin-off series, or step in as the new protagonist in “new” Yellowstone. If Yellowstone gets a “reboot,” the lion’s share of today’s leading actors will follow suit.
When it comes to Costner’s future, McCarthy still keeps his cards close to his chest:
Yellowstone wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin and we hope that that stays for a long time to come.
The New York Post can now reveal that Costner is leaving Yellowstone – he may have already had his last day of shooting.
Paramount is now focusing on getting him to have a temporary settlement with Sheridan and at least complete the last five scheduled episodes of season 5. After that, Costner will definitely be out of the series; whether it is canceled, rebooted, or continued.
The newspaper’s source places most of the blame for the deadlock on series creator Sheridan. The source claimed that Costner, who is also an executive producer of the series, felt rejected when he raised concerns about the direction the story was taking – and that he was then told by Sheridan that:
Stick to acting!
A comment that didn’t exactly prepare the ground for a good dialogue between the two big stars/egos… “Only Taylor knows what’s really going on,” the source tells the New York Post, ‘Taylor spent years unappreciated in Hollywood, and now that he’s at the top of the hierarchy, there’s definitely an ego involved in all of this.’
But even though we’ll witness patriarch John Dutton’s death, it doesn’t mean that Sheridan and Paramount are ready to say goodbye to Yellowstone and the eccentric Dutton clan just yet.
There are already two prequel series from the Yellowstone universe, 1883 (2021) and 1923 (2023), and two spin-off series in the works: 1883: The Bass Reeves Story (1883 spin-off) and 6666 (Yellowstone spin-off).