Paramount is 'very confident' Kevin Costner 'will continue' on 'Yellowstone' despite exit rumors

The seeds for Kevin Costner’s "Yellowstone" departure may have been sowed some time ago.
"Yellowstone" made its PaleyFest debut on Saturday with a screening and Q&A with cast and the head of Paramount Network.Paramount Network
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  • "Yellowstone" made its PaleyFest debut on Saturday April 1 with a Q&A including cast and Paramount Network president Keith Cox.

  • Cox immediately addressed rumors about Kevin Costner's behind-the-scenes dispute on the hit show.

  • He said they are "very confident" Costner will "continue with" the series.

John Dutton may be sticking around a bit longer. Paramount Network vaguely addressed rumors about Kevin Costner's future on "Yellowstone" following speculation he may hang up his cowboy hat.

"What I can say is our star, the face of our show, and executive producer, are very confident he is going to continue with our show," Paramount Network's president of development and production Keith Cox told fans to enthusiastic applause at a PaleyFest panel for the Paramount+ drama on Saturday night, attended by Insider.

When asked when we can expect production on the season to resume, Cox said an announcement will come "soon." He described the season's remaining episodes as "phenomenal. I'm confident."

The show's mid-season finale aired January 1.

Fans inside Hollywood's Dolby Theatre were hoping to hear the comments from Costner himself.

The show's star was originally set to appear alongside the majority of the series' main cast, including Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Bentley, Gil Birmingham, and Jacki Weaver, as well as executive producers Taylor Sheridan and David Glasser.

In a last-minute shake-up that felt like an April Fools' Day prank, the entire PaleyFest line-up changed with none of the original talent present.

Yellowstone cast at PaleyFest 2023
The "Yellowstone" cast at PaleyFest LA on April 1.Kirsten Acuna/Insider

The whittled-down panel included Josh Lucas, Wendy Moniz, Mo Brings Plenty, Dawn Olivieri, and Paramount Network president of development and production, Keith Cox. Media, including Insider, learned of the schedule change as they checked in for the Saturday night event about an hour before the screening and Q&A were set to begin.

After screening season five, episode seven, "The Dream Is Me," a PaleyFest rep took the stage to tell fans "scheduling conflicts" led to the drastic change in panel lineup. That response didn't satisfy every fan, with a few briefly crying out in objection to the cast's absence.

Throughout the hour-long panel, though a good many remained, fans visibly started slowly trickling out of the panel, which wasn't what they paid to see.

The cast of "Yellowstone"
The cast of Paramount Network drama "Yellowstone."Paramount Network

Deadline initially reported in February that Sheridan, Paramount Global, and Paramount Network sought to end the neo-western drama after its current fifth season because of disagreements with the "Field of Dreams" star over shooting schedules.

The actor, who this year won a Golden Globe for his performance as aging rancher John Dutton, reportedly wanted to cut back his number of days on set in Montana to seven for the remaining episodes of season five (presumably because he is working on a Western epic which he is directing, co-writing, and starring in).

At the time, the network denied the report, with a spokesperson telling Insider in a statement: "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."

Later the same month, Costner's lawyer addressed claims that the "Dances With Wolves" filmmaker was causing production issues.

"The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season five of 'Yellowstone' is an absolute lie," the actor's litigator Marty Singer told Puck as part of an exposé that expanded on Deadline's reporting.

"It's ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn't be believed for one second," he continued. "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."

Read the original article on Insider