As many may have noticed, there’s a war in the Yellowstone camp of the roses.
After Paramount – most unexpectedly! – announced a hiatus in the fifth season of their flagship series, Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone, the future of the hit series has been in chaos.
Set in present-day Montana, Yellowstone centres on the cattle dynasty of the influential Dutton family, with all its intrigues, conflicts and obvious lust for power.
The head of the clan is John Dutton, marvellously portrayed by Kevin Costner. Over nearly five full seasons, we have followed the difficult struggle to preserve the farm, the cattle business and the family’s traditional way of life – by any means necessary.
Just after the New Year, Paramount made the shock announcement that the fifth season of Yellowstone would be abruptly cancelled and that the season would be split into two halves.
The 5th season, which until then had come halfway, took a loooong break, so that episde 8 («A Knife and No Coin») would be the last one for months! As recently as the beginning of December last year, the season finale was scheduled for 20 February – but now it has been postponed indefinitely.
Basically, this was the only thing Paramount wanted to share with fans:
Season 5 is slated to return in the summer of 2023, though an exact date has not yet been set.
The halt in production clearly stems from a conflict between series creator Taylor Sheridan and the show’s undisputed star, Kevin Costner.
According to Deadline, Costner was unhappy that the filming of Yellowstone was running over time, which conflicted with some of the actor’s other projects. Costner is not known to have committed to the number of shooting days Sheridan & Co. want.
Scheduling other projects isn’t easy either, given the unpredictable production process, with the multi-talented Sheridan writing the series while filming and then suddenly adding more episodes.
One thing is certain: not a single new second of the series has been recorded since October/November last year…
Shortly after news of the 5th season hiatus hit the web, rumours began swirling that a new star would be entering the Yellowstone universe: Matthew McConaughey.
Texan character actor McConaughey is certainly no newcomer to the TV series medium; in 2014, he starred in one of the best TV series of all time: the 1st season of True Detective.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, CBSViacom CEO Chris McCarthy confirms that the company has signed 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.
All we need to know is whether Matthew McConaughey will star in a new spin-off series, or step in as the new protagonist in the “new” Yellowstone. If Yellowstone is indeed “rebooted”, it is promised that the lion’s share of the existing cast will follow.
As for Costner’s future, McCarthy continued to keep his cards very much close to his chest:
Yellowstone wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin and we hope that he stays for a long time to come.
But the New York Post now reveals that Costner is leaving Yellowstone – possibly having already had his last day on set.
Paramount is now focusing on him reaching a compromise with Sheridan and at least completing the last five planned episodes of the fifth season.
After that, Costner is guaranteed to be done with the series, whether it is cancelled, rebooted or continued.
The newspaper’s source places the bulk of the blame for the stalemate on series creator Sheridan.
The source claimed that Costner, who is also an executive producer on the show, felt rejected when he expressed concerns about the direction of the story in the series – and that he was then asked by Sheridan to:
Stick to acting!
A comment that probably didn’t exactly pave the way for a constructive dialogue between the two big stars/egos…
“Only Taylor knows what’s really going on,” the source told the New York Post. “Taylor was underappreciated in Hollywood for years, and now that he’s reached the top of the hierarchy, there’s definitely a big ego involved in all of this.”
While we may witness the death of patriarch John Dutton in late summer (on SkyShowtime), that doesn’t necessarily mean Sheridan and Paramount are ready to say goodbye to Yellowstone and the eccentric Dutton clan just yet.
Two prequel series from the Yellowstone universe already exist, 1883 (2021) and 1923 (2023), and two more spin-off series are in the works:
- 1883: The Bass Reeves Story (1883-spin-off)
- 6666 (Yellowstone-spin-off)