Kevin Costner discloses why he finally confirmed Yellowstone exit: ‘I don’t need drama’

Kevin Costner has explained why he decided to confirm his Yellowstone exit, after months of speculation over his future on the show.

The 69-year-old has starred as the lead in the hit US series since it first aired in 2018, playing ranch owner John Dutton.

The show, created by Taylor Sheridan, follows a group of American ranchers and land developers in rural Montana.

In February this year, the programme was left shaken by reports that behind-the-scenes drama between Sheridan and Costner was the reason for the actor’s departure – which confirmed that the show would be brought to a premature ending without him.

However, until recently, Costner hadn’t ruled out ever returning to Yellowstone, but announced on Friday (21 June) told fans he couldn’t continue with the show.

In a video post shared to his Instagram, which he captioned, “An update for you guys. I’ll see you at the movies”, the actor, who recently released his own Western saga, Horizon, at the Cannes Film Festival, explained his decision.

“I want to reach out and let you know that after this long year and a half of working on Horizon and doing all the things that’s required, and thinking about Yellowstone, that beloved series that I love, that I know you love, I just realised that I’m not going to be able to continue Season 5B or into the future,” he said.

“It was something that really changed me. I loved it. And I know you loved it. And I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be returning and I love the relationship we’ve been able to develop and I’ll see you at the movies.”

Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ (Paramount)
Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ (Paramount)

Explaining why he decided to announce his departure now, Costner said he was faced with an enormously “tough” decision.

“It was a necessary decision to say, ‘Hey, OK, I don’t want to really talk about this anymore. It’s time to move on,’” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I gave this thing five seasons,” he said. “I was really happy to do it. And I don’t need drama. So, let’s just take that drama away, let’s take the guessing [away]. The fans have been way too good to me. And my obligation is to go on and continue to make things that mean something to them.”

While Yellowstone initially divided critics, it has gone on to become one of the most successful TV programmes in recent years.

Kevin Costner and his son Hayes, who also appears in the ‘Horizon’ saga (Getty Images)
Kevin Costner and his son Hayes, who also appears in the ‘Horizon’ saga (Getty Images)

Costner, meanwhile, is embracing his latest venture, the three-part independently financed American Civil War epic Horizon.

Chapter one of the franchise will be released on 28 June, before part two comes out on 16 August. Costner, who directs and stars in the films, has started working on the third chapter, but has said he needs more funding to compete his vision.