Legendary actor Kevin Costner is headed nowhere, despite rumors that he’s potentially planning to permanently leave the hit Paramount Network show “Yellowstone,” according to Paramount Network president of development and production Keith Cox.
“What I can say is our star, the face of our show and the executive producer, are very confident he’s going to continue with our show,” Cox confirmed during a PaleyFest (it’s a TV festival) panel this Saturday evening, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
His words may have initially come as a relief to “Yellowstone” fans who’ve been fretting for over a month now about Costner’s potential departure.
The fretting started after Variety ran a bombshell piece in early February warning that Costner might leave the show because of scheduling issues.
“According to sources, Costner could potentially exit the series on which he has played John Dutton since it launched in 2018. The issue seems to be Costner’s shooting schedule, with Costner being available for fewer days as the show has progressed,” the magazine reported.
In fairness, Paramount Network immediately pushed back on the rumor.
“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,” a spokesperson said at the time.
Variety also broke the news about a new “Yellowstone” spin-off starring someone else: “Sources also say that discussions are underway for a new expansion of the ‘Yellowstone’ franchise that would feature several characters from the mothership show with Matthew McConaughey in talks to star.”
And in a recent interview, Paramount Media Networks president and CEO Chris McCarthy said “that Matthew McConaughey is lined up to star in a Yellowstone extension, which will move forward regardless of whether Costner returns to the original,” as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
All this led many to believe it was the beginning of the end for “Yellowstone,” the original show. However, the tides began to turn in late February, when Costner’s attorney responded to the rumor by forcefully shutting it down.
“The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season 5 of ‘Yellowstone’ is an absolute lie,” attorney Marty Singer said in a statement to Fox News.
“It’s ridiculous – and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second. As everyone who knows anything about Kevin is well aware, he is incredibly passionate about the show and has always gone way above and beyond to ensure its success,” he added.
Returning back to the present, there is one weird catch. Guess who wasn’t in attendance at Saturday night’s PaleyFest? Costner …
“The main cast of the show, along with creator Taylor Sheridan, were expected to attend PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Saturday evening — but unexpectedly didn’t show up. About 30 minutes before the red carpet was supposed to begin at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, press was let in and given a tip sheet with only four cast member names on it: Josh Lucas, Wendy Moniz, Mo Brings Plenty and Dawn Olivieri,” according to Variety.
“Paramount Network development president Keith Cox also attended, but did not speak to press on the carpet. The original list of those who were supposed to be there included Sheridan and executive producer David Glasser, as well as the show’s stars Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Bentley, Gil Birmingham and Jacki Weaver. Variety was told that the cast could not attend due to scheduling conflicts.”
Uh oh. That sounds familiar.
Fans were outraged. Some even renewed their speculation about Costner’s future with the show.
This was such a disappointment! What a major scam!!
— Mary Garcia (@hailmary23) April 2, 2023
Yeah as someone who paid over $100 a ticket I’m pretty fn pissed. Quite the bait and switch. People are walking out.
— 96KTF (@DebL2021) April 2, 2023
Will there be refunds for #yellowstone #PaleyFest we drove two hours to the cast you said would be here. What a joke and rip off
— james (@james79766926) April 2, 2023
That is some bullshit! What the hell is going on with Yellowstone?? It almost seems as if they’re not going to finish filming the show.
— Lea Cash (@LeaCash) April 2, 2023
Since was my first fest I don’t have anything to compare it to. That being said there were a LOT of people pissed, disappointed and bummed. Feel bad for the actors that did show up and appreciate their stories but it clearly wasn’t what we paid for. #paleyfest #Yellowstone
— chitchattj (@chitchattj) April 2, 2023
At this point, all that’s known for certain is that there will be a “Yellowstone” spin-off starring Matthew McConaughey.
As for the original “Yellowstone” and Costner’s role in it, while Cox did suggest he’s headed nowhere, not everybody is so certain, especially after the latest disappointment …
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