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Taylor Sheridan Directly Addresses the Kevin Costner Rumors on 'Yellowstone'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 21, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 21, 2023 |


This past Sunday, 1883, the Yellowstone prequel that premiered on Paramount+ in late 2021, re-aired on the Paramount network. It fetched four million viewers, which proves that there’s still some juice in linear television, at least for the right projects.

Taylor Sheridan has been behind a string of the right projects for Paramount and Paramount+, the most famous of which is Yellowstone, which will end whenever Sheridan is able to pen the final episodes (Sheridan claims he is abiding by the WGA strike, but he also says he writes alone and rejects writers’ rooms). But what about the Costner of it all? Sheridan addressed that specifically in a long-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter about Yellowstone, Sheridan’s universe, and even the ranch he paid $350 million for, which necessitated the kind of productivity he’s been behind for the last few years.

But what about the rumors that Kevin Costner wanted to focus on his film instead of shooting Yellowstone? That is broadly true, according to Taylor Sheridan, and Sheridan was glad to accommodate his schedule. Everything was fine until the lawyers got involved, Sheridan said.

My opinion of Kevin as an actor hasn’t altered,” Sheridan says. “His creation of John Dutton is symbolic and powerful … and I’ve never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone. But once lawyers get involved, then people don’t get to talk to each other and start saying things that aren’t true and attempt to shift blame based on how the press or public seem to be reacting. He took a lot of this on the chin and I don’t know that anyone deserves it. His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus. I sure hope [the movie is] worth it — and that it’s a good one.

As to how it will affect the final season? It “truncates” what Sheridan had planned to do with the character, but it doesn’t “alter” it. Sheridan claims that he’d always planned to kill Costner’s character before the end of Yellowstone, and now he will just have to do it a little sooner. How soon will depend on how available Kevin Costner is when shooting finally begins.

As to the rumors that Taylor Sheridan also once told Kevin Costner to “stick to acting” after Costner tried to meddle in the scripts. That’s not entirely true. But it’s not entirely false, either.

“I never had that conversation with Kevin,” Sheridan says. “There was a time in season two when he was very upset and said the character wasn’t going in the direction he wanted. I said, ‘Kevin, you do remember that I told you this is essentially The Godfather on the largest ranch in Montana? Are you that surprised that the Godfather is killing people?’ What he’s clung to is [Dutton’s] commitments to his family and way of life. Dutton’s big failing is not evolving with the times — not finding different revenue streams [for the ranch]. Kevin felt season two was deviating from that, and I don’t know that he was wrong. In season three, we steered back into it.”

Sheridan adds: “And I recall him winning a Golden Globe last year for his performance, so I think it’s working.”

It’s an informative interview, although probably the most shocking bit is Taylor Sheridan admitting that he downright fired Terrence Winter off of Tulsa King after the first season because their visions did not sync up and Sheridan refused to compromise.

“I spent the first 37 years of my life compromising,” Sheridan shoots back. “When I quit acting, I decided that I am going to tell my stories my way, period. If you don’t want me to tell them, fine. Give them back and I’ll find someone who does — or I won’t, and then I’ll read them in some freaking dinner theater. But I won’t compromise. There is no compromising.”

Firing the screenwriter behind Wolf of Wall Street and the creator of Boardwalk Empire seems like the kind of decision that might backfire down the line, but Sheridan — if anything — is very confident in himself. And with a $350 million ranch? When Sheridan’s television star fades, he has a backup profession.

Source: THR