Kevin Costner ‘Would Love to Go Back’ to ‘Yellowstone’ as Final Episodes Film Without Him, but It’s Got to Be ‘Under the Right Circumstances’

“Yellowstone” is currently in production on its final episodes without previous star Kevin Costner, although the Oscar winner continues to double down on his apparent openness to returning as John Dutton. Appearing on “Today” to promote his upcoming movie “Horizon,” Costner once again said he would love to return for the second half of “Yellowstone” Season 5.

“I’ve supported that thing and I’ve loved it,” Costner said. “It’s been really important to me. I would love to go back under the right circumstances I think that all of us want. For me, it really needs to be the right circumstances.”

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“Saying there’s a chance, there’s always a chance,” he continued. “I love the thing. You’ve got to be really clear about that.”

Costner has been saying since at least April that he would love to close out his arc on “Yellowstone.” The show’s fifth and final season was split into two halves. The season’s first eight episodes included Costner and aired in fall 2022. The final six episodes are now in production and will start airing in November.

“I’d like to be able to do it, but we haven’t been able to,” Costner previously told Entertainment Tonight about returning. “I thought I was going to make seven [seasons] but right now we’re at five. So how it works out — I hope it does — but they’ve got a lot of different shows going on. Maybe it will. Maybe this will circle back to me. If it does and I feel really comfortable with [it], I’d love to do it.”

While there has been a lot of speculation about Costner’s exit from the show ahead of its final episodes, the actor told GQ magazine in May that his choice all stemmed from the decision to split “Yellowstone” Season 5 into two parts. Costner said was on board with shooting Season 5, but splitting it into two chunks risked interfering with his work on passion project “Horizon.”

“Their big plan was to suddenly do eight now and then in the fall do eight more,” Costner said. “I said, ‘I have a contract to do “Horizon,” and I have people and money.’ I think there was a belief that I couldn’t get it mounted, but I didn’t really care what anybody believed.”

According to Costner, scripts for the second half of Season 5 never came in as his start date to resume work on “Horizon” approached. It got to the point where Costner only had a week’s worth left of time where he could finish out “Yellowstone” before moving on to the other project.

“And somebody picked up the idea that I only wanted to work one week. And that has been a carryover thing that I have seen in magazines: that I’ve only wanted to work one week,” Costner said. “My big disappointment is I never heard Paramount or 101 [Studios] really come to my defense and say, ‘That’s not true. He was going to do three more seasons.’ I started off only giving three seasons, ended up doing five and got embroiled in a thing that I don’t feel one person over there ever told the story correctly, ever, about what I had done and what I’ve been willing to do.”

“That’s really fucking bothered me, that none of them would actually try to set the record straight,” Costner concluded.

Paramount Network announced in May that filming was now underway on the final episodes of “Yellowstone.” Production was supposed to take place last year but got delayed due to the Hollywood strikes.

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