Matthew McConaughey Confirmed for ‘Yellowstone’ Spinoff Amid Kevin Costner Drama
Matthew McConaughey is set to star in an upcoming Yellowstone spinoff for Paramount Network, a network official has confirmed amid ongoing reports that Yellowstone may come to an end at the conclusion of Season 5 over a scheduling dispute with series star Kevin Costner.
Chris McCarthy is a top executive at Paramount Media Networks, where his responsibilities have included shepherding the rise of Yellowstone and its various franchises, which so far have included 1883 and 1923. In a conversation with the Hollywood Reporter, McCarthy confirms that McConaughey is set to star in a Yellowstone extension series, adding that the show is set to move forward with him whether Costner continues on Yellowstone or not, though he gives no other details.
The news comes after multiple reports of backstage Costner drama. The Oscar winner has been balancing his role as John Dutton in Season 5 of Yellowstone with working on a four-part epic Western titled Horizon that he is writing, producing, directing and starring in. According to Deadline, that led to Costner negotiating to cut his shooting schedule for Season 5 to 50 days, down from 65 days in past seasons.
Producers also decided to extend Season 5 to 14 episodes airing in two arcs, which led to more scheduling conflicts as the projected shoot for the second half of the season bled into time Costner had set aside for Horizon.
Deadline reports that Costner has been negotiating to shoot for just one week for the second half of Season 5, leading to a breakdown in talks that may lead to producers killing off his character and bringing Yellowstone to an end after the current season.
McCarthy shed no further light on the situation with Costner in talking with THR, offering only that Yellowstone “wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin and we hope that that stays for a long time to come."
During a recent fan Q&A, Cole Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler on the smash hit, told fans that the cast is "trying to go back to work in May, so hopefully that’ll happen.” That would mean that the second half of Season 5 would likely air in the fall instead of the summer 2023 air date the network originally touted.
Costner's attorney, Marty Singer, scoffed at Deadline's reporting in talking to Puck News.
“The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of Season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie,” he states. “It’s ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second. 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.”