Yellowstone Reportedly In Chaos Amid Rumors Of Final Season With Kevin Costner, Matthew McConaughey Spinoff And More

John Dutton swearing in on bible in Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Just when 1923’s  return to Paramount+ made it seem like fans were safe to dig their heels back into the Dutton family’s legacy, the usually benign Yellowstone rumor mill has now been blown sky high in regards to a handful of downright shocking updates and issues being reported behind the scenes. Could this be Yellowstone’s final season? Is Kevin Costner being extremely difficult about filming Season 5? Is True Detective vet Matthew McConaughey set to head up his own spinoff? Read on!

Kevin Costner’s Filming Dispute Rumors

Though Yellowstone fans likely have it in mind that the show’s cast and crew are one big, happy, agreeable family — that’s almost always the line of thinking shared in interviews — the Paramount Network drama’s patriarch on screen and off, Kevin Costner, is reportedly the cause for on-set strife with Sheridan and producers over Season 5’s filming schedule. According to Deadline, the Golden Globe-winning actor has made some hard-to-fulfill requests tied to his other project, the currently in-production western epic Horizon, for which Costner is reteaming with Yellowstone’s Will Patton.

It’s claimed that Costner only wanted to film across 50 total days for the first eight episodes of Season 5, and then shrunk that down for the second stage of production, asking to film for only a week(!) to close out John Dutton’s story for the remaining episodes. (Season 5 is set to return at an undisclosed point this summer.) Paramount execs are said to have declined the rumored request, and it may have been enough to justify cutting ties with the star altogether.

For what it’s worth, a Paramount Network rep shared the following 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.

More on Matty Mac lower, but let’s all take comfort for now in the fact that there hasn’t been any confirmation about Yellowstone going away for good in its current form.

Yellowstone's Final Season Rumors

The aforementioned claims about Kevin Costner’s schedule situation are rumored to have caused enough friction behind the scene that the possibility exists for the western drama to conclude outright when Season 5 is over. Now, Taylor Sheridan has long made it clear that he has no interest in producing endless seasons of Yellowstone, though the co-creator hasn’t indicated at all that this fifth cycle would end up being the swan song.

But Kevin Costner’s posturing over filming is said to be kicking up dust between him and Taylor Sheridan, who is one of the more meticulous and schedule-oriented TV creators out there, given how solo he flies as the creative force behind his various small-screen ventures. What’s more, the Oscar-winning actor’s behavior is rumored to be souring the morale among others in the show’s ensemble, especially those who work with him the most, from Kelly Reilly to Cole Hauser to Luke Grimes and others.

As such, it’s stated that the powers that be are willing to uproot the flagship drama as soon as it makes sense to, and are willing to jump with full force into another spinoff expansion. 

Matthew McConaughey’s Spinoff Rumors

In what is arguably the most alright, alright, alright pop culture rumor of 2023 thus far, Yellowstone execs are lining up a situation where Kevin Costner’s arc as John Dutton can close out sooner than later to make way for Matthew McConaughey’s arrival, with contract negotiations said to be taking place now. The Texas native is a no-brainer for a Sheridan project, whether it would come through the Duttons’ canonical history or some other series. Personally, I’m all-in on the Oscar-winning actor joining however and wherever he sees fit.

No specific were divulged as far as when or where McConaughey’s character would factor into Yellowstone’s past, present or future. But it’s reported that the new spinoff would debut on Paramount Network proper before becoming an exclusive for streamers with Paramount+ subscriptions.

While we don’t know very much for sure right now, we can take comfort in knowing if that particular spinoff plan does come into being, Matthew McConaughey will be surrounded by one of the best casts on TV. I can’t see how it can top 1923’s star-studded ensemble, but I’m game to see its best efforts.

As we wait to hear more confirmation about any of the above rumors, check out other upcoming Yellowstone-verse projects that are on the way. And maybe don’t place high-stakes bets on Costner being involved with any of them.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.