Kevin Coster as John Dutton in Season 5 of 'Yellowstone' on Paramount.

Paramount Executive Is “Very Confident” Kevin Costner Isn’t Leaving Yellowstone

Rumors have been swirling for months about the fate of John Dutton.

by Kaitlin Kimont

Between the nail-biting season finale of 1923 and confirmation that Matthew McConaughey’s Yellowstone spin-off is indeed happening, there’s no shortage of drama on the Dutton family’s ranch. But what’s happening with the original series and star who helped kicked off this whole franchise? Rumors and reports about whether or not Kevin Costner could be leaving his role as a family patriarch John Dutton in Yellowstone have been swirling for months, but a top Paramount Network executive recently shared a promising update.

While Costner, Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan, and many other main actors from the Western were all expected to attend a panel at PaleyFest on April 1, none of them showed up, which only led to more questions about Costner’s future on the show.

Josh Lucas, who’s played a younger John Dutton since Season 1, as well as actors Mo Brings Plenty, Dawn Olivieri, Wendy Moniz, and Paramount Network’s president of development and production, Keith Cox, did however make an appearance. And it was Cox who addressed the elephant in the room.

“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,” Cox told PaleyFest attendees, as Insider reported.

Kevin Costner as John Dutton, Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton, and Wes Bentley as Jamie Dutton in Yellowstone Season 5. Paramount

Questions about what’s happening with Costner on Yellowstone and the future of the Paramount series itself began earlier this year. Deadline reported in February that Costner may not return and Yellowstone could possibly come to an end after Season 5 due to “disagreements over shooting schedules.” That same month, Costner’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the report and scheduling allegations “ridiculous” in an interview with Puck News. “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,” Singer said at the time.

While Paramount had been tight-lipped about the rumors and reports, top executives at the network have more recently been shedding some light on this reported Costner drama. In addition to Cox sharing his confidence that Costner isn’t going anywhere, Paramount president and CEO Chris McCarthy told The Hollywood Reporter in March that Yellowstone “wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin and we hope that that stays for a long time to come.”

In the same interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McCarthy also confirmed that whether or not Costner returns for more seasons of Yellowstone, an extension of the series starring Matthew McConaughey is moving forward.

Meanwhile, Yellowstone fans are getting pretty antsy waiting for the second half of Season 5 to air. The network has said the next six episodes will begin airing again in Summer 2023, though no exact date has been announced yet.