While production on the program is now-final episodes has yet to begin, court documents prove that Kevin Costner’s contract with Yellowstone has officially expired.

Costner has played John Dutton, owner of the eponymous Montana ranch and patriarch of a family full of power-hungry personalities, in all five seasons of the Paramount Network neo-Western drama. As season 5 faced a slew of production setbacks and behind-the-scenes squabbles, Costner abruptly left Yellowstone to direct a four-film Western epic, effectively ending the mainstream show after its current season while additional projects were put in the works.

Insider has a new update on Kevin Costner’s divorce from Christine Baumgartner. The update includes court documents in which the actor confirms that his Yellowstone contract has officially ended ahead of his season 5 exit, implying that the only money he will receive from the show will be “back-end contractual participation,” which is likely to be production on the show is remaining episodes. See here for Costner’s statement:

Related: Kevin Costner’s Separated Wife Demands Over $250,000 In Child Support Per Month, According To Court Documents.

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. Now, any compensation I earn from Yellowstone will derive only from my back-end contractual participation rights, which amounts are not fixed. The most recent report from the producer for Yellowstone shows I am not now owed any participation money.

Will Kevin Costner Leave Yellowstone?

Given that Costner was the movie’s initial huge draw when it debuted in 2018, one of the biggest questions raised by his departure is whether the brand can continue without him. The early success of the mainline show not only encouraged Paramount to expand the universe with the prequel spinoffs 1883 and 1923, but also to make the two streaming-exclusive releases via Paramount+ rather than relying on those already subscribed to Paramount Network.

However, with the Yellowstone prequels obviously gaining their own footing on the streaming platform, 1923 receiving a season 2 renewal, and creator Taylor Sheridan going on with numerous other spinoffs, the studio’s investment certainly paid off. Both programs received significantly more critical acclaim right out of the gate than Yellowstone, which received mixed reviews from reviewers in season one but has since received better appreciation in following seasons.

Related: Kevin Costner Alleges His Separated Wife Refuses To Leave The House

Another issue to consider in Yellowstone’s survival following Costner’s season 5 leave is how the program will address this. It is long been assumed that the show would end with John Dutton meeting his end, a sentiment seemingly shared by both Costner and Sheridan, and with the latter already developing a sequel show starring Matthew McConaughey, should it bring any of the original cast back in satisfying fashion, the neo-Western franchise could have a shelf life comparable to the Law & Order or Game of Thrones franchises.


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