It has been nearly ten months since the popular western series “Yellowstone” went on a mid-season hiatus, and while fans eagerly await its return, off-screen drama has continued to unfold.
The series, known for its massive ratings, announced this spring that it would conclude after the planned second half of its fifth season.
As per rumors, Kevin Costner had some disagreements with the makers regarding his contract.
This has sparked a question among viewers and fans about whether Kevin Costner is still on “Yellowstone.” To know the answer, dig deeper into the article.
Uncovering the “Moral Death” Contract Clause
A recent report from Puck sheds light on the complexities of Costner’s exit from the show, revealing a unique contractual provision known as a “moral death” clause.
This provision outlines specific conditions under which John Dutton, Costner’s character, can and cannot be killed on the show. It notably restricts methods that would bring shame or embarrassment to the character.
While such a clause is considered unusual in showbiz contracts, it appears to address concerns raised by fans when Costner’s departure was first announced.
Many feared that John Dutton, a central character, would be written off in a hasty or disrespectful manner.
Is Kevin Costner still on “Yellowstone”?
No, Kevin Costner is still not in “Yellowstone.” Rumors swirled about the reason behind this decision, with reports suggesting that Paramount Network executives and the show’s lead actor, Kevin Costner, who portrays patriarch John Dutton, couldn’t agree on filming schedules and Costner’s salary.
Despite the anticipation for the show’s final episodes, there have been no official announcements regarding Kevin Costner’s return.
Recent developments have cast doubt on his potential involvement.
In July, documents related to Costner’s ongoing divorce proceedings with his wife, Christine Baumgartner, revealed that he was “no longer under contract for ‘Yellowstone.’
Sheridan’s Stance and Unwritten Chapters
“Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan addressed these concerns in a June 2023 interview with THR, reassuring fans about John Dutton’s fate.
He stated, “I don’t do f***-you car crashes,” referring to a character’s death following behind-the-scenes conflicts, such as Patrick Dempsey’s character in “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Sheridan emphasized that the character’s exit shouldn’t inflate or insult Costner’s ego, underscoring his commitment to storytelling.
It’s worth noting that Sheridan reportedly penned most of the second half of season five without Costner’s character, before the strikes of the writers and actors guilds disrupted production across the industry.
While Costner and his team believe that the planned ending for John Dutton might violate the “moral death” provision, sources indicate that Costner has not read the scripts that detail the character’s final moments.
Costner’s Payment Dispute and Potential Legal Action
The Puck report delves into Costner’s financial dispute with Paramount. In a September hearing, Costner mentioned that he might go to court over his payment for the remainder of “Yellowstone.”
Notably, he had already been compensated for the yet-to-be-filmed second half of season five. It is speculated that his reference to a lawsuit pertains to the now-canceled future season of the show.
Sources suggest that Costner believes Paramount breached their agreement by retracting their offer, given that he was offered a substantial package to return.
However, as of the time of writing, neither Costner nor Paramount have taken legal action on this matter.
The behind-the-scenes drama surrounding Kevin Costner’s departure from “Yellowstone” adds layers of intrigue to the show’s conclusion.
While contractual complexities and disagreements have emerged, fans remain curious about how the story of John Dutton, a character deeply intertwined with Costner, will ultimately unfold.