Kevin Costner confirms he won't return to “Yellowstone”: 'I'm not going to be able to continue'

The actor finally set the record straight once and for all.

Kevin Costner always seemed to leave the door open for more Yellowstone after his surprise exit from the series, but not anymore. The actor, who's going all in on a series of Western movies starting with Horizon: An American Saga, released a video on Thursday that definitively states he won't be coming back.

“I just want to reach out and let you know that after this long year and a half of working on Horizon and doing all the things that that’s required, and thinking about Yellowstone, that beloved series that I love, that I know you love, I just realized that I’m not going to be able to continue season 5B or into the future," Costner said in the video, sporting sunglasses and a cap.

"It was something that really changed me," he continued. "I loved it and I know you loved it. And I just wanted to let you know that I won't be returning. I love the relationship that we've been able to develop, and I'll see you at the movies."

<p>Danno Nell/Paramount Network/Everett Collection</p> Kevin Costner's John Dutton on 'Yellowstone'

Danno Nell/Paramount Network/Everett Collection

Kevin Costner's John Dutton on 'Yellowstone'

Related: Kevin Costner addresses why he left Yellowstone, reveals 'right circumstances' under which he'd return

Costner's comments are the first confirmation that his performance as lead character John Dutton will not appear in the remaining episodes. Though he's now also ruling out any involvement in future spinoffs.

This comes shortly after Paramount Network announced this week that the final episodes of Yellowstone season 5 will finally arrive beginning Sunday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Filming is still underway in Montana.

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It will be almost two years since fans enjoyed new Yellowstone episodes. Season 5's eighth episode was released in January 2023 with John's children Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie (Wes Bentley) declaring war on each other.

Related: Yellowstone final season begins production, will return in November

Series creator Taylor Sheridan denied rumors of any strife between him and Costner, and accredited his lead actor's departure from the show to his involvement in the Horizon films. Costner recently appeared on the Today show, where he spoke about his leave.

"I did it for five years, and I wanted to work more than once a year," he said. "We lost an entire year at one point, and I thought, that can't happen again. It was well over a year. I thought I have to be in a position to make the things. Material has to be ready at certain times, and we weren't able to do that. After five years, I thought, I'm not going to do this. If we can get that, we can do that, and I'll do it."

In the same interview, which was filmed just days before he delivered his new comments on the matter, he noted, "I’ve supported that thing and I’ve loved it, it’s been really important to me. I would love to go back under the right circumstances. I think that's what all of us want. At this point, for me, it really needs to be the right circumstances."

Related: Kevin Costner says he wasn't to blame for Yellowstone scheduling issues: 'There were no scripts'

Costner has also expressed the possibility of working with Sheridan again. In a separate chat with Entertainment Weekly in May, he mentioned that he and the Yellowstone creator hadn't spoken about the final season's episodes. "If he sees me in something that he wants to do, I'll look at it just the way I did Yellowstone and maybe we will end up doing something together," he said.

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