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Kevin Costner Wants to Return to "Yellowstone" After Heated Contract Dispute

"I’d love to do it," said Costner amid news of Yellowstone entering production.

Kevin Costner isn't ready to hang up his cowboy hat just yet. While promoting his upcoming Western flic, Horizon: An American Saga (which will premiere in two parts this summer) at CinemaCon 2024, Costner said he's itching to get back to Dutton Ranch despite his exit from the series in 2023 over contentious contract negotiations—that is if Yellowstone showrunner Taylor Sheridan will have him.

RELATED: "Yellowstone" Slammed for "Deplorable" Depiction of American West by Native Actor Lily Gladstone.

After being crowned the most-watched cable series on TV two years in a row, Yellowstone hit its breaking point in 2023. The last episode that aired was the Season 5 Part One finale in Jan. 2023. Shortly thereafter, Paramount Network announced the second half of Season 5 will be Yellowstone's final chapter.

As if fans weren't disheartened enough, it also came out that Costner was walking away from Yellowstone due to creative issues and salary disputes. In June 2023, Costner seemingly confirmed his departure via divorce documents amid his separation from ex-wife Christine Baumgartner.

"I will earn substantially less in 2023 than I did in 2022. This is because I am no longer under contract for Yellowstone, the principal source of my income last year," Costner said in court documents obtained by Page Six.

Following massive delays due to the writers' and actors' strikes, Yellowstone is reportedly going into production, and now Costner wants back in. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight at CinemaCon 2024, the 69-year-old actor said he'd "like to be able to do it," but because of scheduling conflicts and salary disagreements "we haven't been able to."

"I thought I was going to make seven [seasons] but right now we're at five," he said in reference to the show's abrupt conclusion. "So how it works out—I hope it does—but they've got a lot of different shows going on. Maybe it will."

To that end, entertainment journalist and Hollywood insider Matt Belloni alluded on his podcast that Costner's character, John Dutton, will not be involved in Season 5 Part Two.

"Scripts are already written, I'm told, or are being written. And the question is whether Costner is in those final episodes of this season of Yellowstone. And my understanding is that, as of now, he is not going to be in those episodes," Belloni remarked on an Oct. 2023 episode of his podcast The Town.

Evidently, the future of the Duttons is still very much up in the air—however, should Costner get invited back, he already has some storyline ideas in his back pocket.

"Well, you know, he needs to be proactive in what happens and I've kind of had my own fantasy how it might be, but that's Taylor's thing. I said as much to him a while back. I had thoughts how it could happen, but we just have to see," Costner told ET.

Yellowstone Season 5 Part Two is slated to air in Nov. 2024. Until then, Costner is keeping an open mind. "Maybe this will circle back to me. If it does and I feel really comfortable with [it], I'd love to do it," he said.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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