AceShowbiz - Kevin Costner and other lead actors of "Yellowstone" as well as series creator Taylor Sheridan ditched PaleyFest at the last minute. They were all noticeably absent at the Saturday, April 1 event despite being scheduled to serve as panelists to talk about the series during an episode screening.
Kevin, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Betley, Gil Birmingham and Jacki Weaver were set to attend the special screening and Q&A at the highly publicized event. They were supposed to be joined by Taylor, executive producer David Glassier and "additional guests."
As none of them appeared, the final lineup eventually consisted of Josh Lucas, who plays a younger John Dutton. He was there with Mo Brings Plenty, Dawn Olivieri and Wendy Moniz, but none of them could give details on what the back half of season 5 will look like as nothing's been filmed.
"I have no news to report. I just know that Taylor's writing and we know he's a prolific writer and I'm excited to see it when it comes," Wendy said on the red carpet. Mo, meanwhile, teased that the upcoming episodes would be "mind-blowing and wonderful," before adding, "There's some dates floating around."
Meanwhile, Keith Cox, the president of development & production for Paramount Network, said at the event that he was hopeful of Kevin's continuation on the show. However, he couldn't give a specific update on when production on season 5 might resume. "What I can say is our star, the face of our show and the executive producer, are very confident he's going to continue with our show," he said.
When asked if "Yellowstone" can continue without Kevin's character John Dutton, Josh said that he thinks Taylor has "always planned on at some point, having Kevin die and having multiple characters die." He continued, "And so you know that that's just the way the story… the evolution of what the ranch is. That's why when you see the cemetery and you see the names of Elsa and you see the names of Jacob and you see these names, I think it's of course going to evolve and change. And I think that's what hopefully people will really like as it goes. I don't know, Taylor can tell a story about the future for all we know."
Fans were unsurprisingly disappointed by the absence. Additionally, it further convinced them that speculations that Kevin's plan to exit the hit show to instead focus on directing and starring on the upcoming drama "Horizon" may be true after all.
Prior to this, it was reported that there was a behind-the-scenes dispute involving Kevin. "The crux of the issue… involves Costner and disagreements over schedules," Deadline claimed at the time.
The outlet reported that the Oscar-winning star originally allotted himself 65 days to film the first part of the show's current fifth season. However, he changed his mind and wanted to film for 50 days only in addition to wanting to limit it to just one week of shooting on the remaining eight episodes of season 5.
His request reportedly caused a rift with not only series creator Taylor Sheridan, but also his other co-stars. Kevin's filming schedule was allegedly the "source of frustration" for Taylor and caused "morale problems with his co-stars.
It was also said that Paramount Network is planning to launch a new spin-off of "Yellowstone" starring Matthew McConaughey. The rumored spin-off allegedly will air on the linear cable channel Paramount Network and then stream exclusively on Paramount+.