The actor broke his silence on tensions within the series crew while testifying during a child support hearing held as part of his ongoing divorce proceedings from Christine Baumgartner. Costner was discussing his financial situation while on the stand, and claimed that Paramount owes him $12 million for the not-yet-filmed second half of Yellowstone Season 5.
“It’s a little disappointing that [it’s the] No. 1 show on television [and] I’m not participating,” Costner said. “I’ll probably go to court over it.”
Yellowstone’s fifth and final season is set to air in two parts. The first half premiered in November, and the second half was supposed to drop this November, but its release is dependent on the SAG-AFTRA strike. However, the production ran into issues well before Hollywood’s writers and actors stopped working.
Costner, who stars in the series as Montana rancher John Dutton III, reportedly asked to lessen his shooting schedule in order to complete his own passion project, the four-part film series Horizon. The actor claims to have rearranged his Horizon shooting schedule in order to film Season 5 of Yellowstone, but when he was ready to begin work on its second half, the scripts weren’t ready.
Costner’s diminishing desire to work on Yellowstone reportedly frustrated producers, increasing tensions. The actor claims he agreed to appear in a sixth season of the show, but “I couldn’t help them any more. We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons [and] there were issues with the creative,” prompting him to walk away from the series altogether. In May, Paramount announced that Season 5 would be Yellowstone’s last, with a sequel series starring Matthew McConaughey on the way.
“I’m disappointed,” Yellowstone creator Kevin Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter of Costner’s departure. “It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.” The production is still trying to convince Costner to film a few scenes in order to properly wrap up his character, but those scripts have not been completed.