Has Yellowstone been cancelled? Kevin Costner's exit rumours explained

yellowstone season 4 finale
Has Yellowstone been cancelled? Paramount

Yellowstone was set to return later this year for another bout of family drama, deceit and betrayal in the second half of season five — but the future of the show beyond that has now been bucked (by one of the Dutton horses) into doubt.

Reports of issues behind the scenes on the Western production began to circulate earlier this year and it has now been reported in Entertainment Tonight that Kevin Costner's outing as John Dutton in the upcoming batch of season-five episodes may be his last on the show.

The news is sure to shock fans considering the record-breaking series is one of Paramount's biggest triumphs and season five has been the show's most successful outing yet.

Yet this latest report in a string of rumblings from the production claims that Yellowstone and its star have decided to part ways amid "confusion and frustration" over the filming schedule.

The disagreement is allegedly over the question of when Yellowstone's production will return to shoot the remaining eight episodes of season five on location in Montana, with Costner wanting to limit himself to just one week of filming to accommodate his own Western project Horizon – a proposal said to have been rejected by Paramount.

yellowstone season 4

What this means for the show beyond its current season remains to be seen, but a report from Deadline earlier this year said Yellowstone could come to an end with the exit of its lead star.

If this is the case, it definitely didn't seem to be series co-creator Taylor Sheridan's plan, after Yellowstone actor Wes Bentley, who plays Jamie Dutton, said Sheridan had a long-term plan for the show's conclusion, which he had not said would coincide with season five.

Meanwhile, Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler) discussed the franchise's seemingly bright future at the Golden Globes earlier this year, telling ET: "I can tell you there will be [season] six and [there] will be a seventh, that's all I can say. That's all I can tell you."

However, Yellowstone fans might be able to sleep easy knowing the show could continue in some shape or form regardless of Costner's involvement.

Deadline previously reported that Sheridan intends to end the series in its "current form" (that being season five) and relocate some of the cast to a new spin-off series starring Matthew McConaughey, allowing the Dutton saga to continue without Costner.

yellowstone season 4 finale

Of course, nothing is set in stone. But given the wild success of the flagship's prequel series 1883 and 1923 (which has been renewed for a second season), Deadline added: "The studio has more flexibility and isn't as dependent on Yellowstone as was the case two years ago."

Although Paramount did respond to the rumours, they didn't officially confirm or deny whether Yellowstone will be ending or whether Costner will be departing.

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A spokesperson said: "We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that's the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built.

"Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we'd love to partner."

Sheridan, Costner and McConaughey are yet to address the reports.

Until we get an official cancellation or renewal, then, the future of Yellowstone seems to very much be up in the air.

Yellowstone airs on Paramount+.

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