Kevin Costner Confirms His Yellowstone Future After Shocking Exit

Kevin Costner Confirms His Yellowstone Future After Shocking Exit

Over a year after Kevin Costner was rumored to have unexpectedly walked away from his hit TV series Yellowstone, the actor finally confirmed he's not returning for the rest of season five.

It's official: Kevin Costner will not be returning to the Dutton Ranch.

After more than a year of speculation that the actor had walked away from his hit series Yellowstone to focus on other professional projects, Costner finally confirmed he won't be returning as John Dutton III for part two of the Paramount series' fifth and final season.

"I just wanted to reach out and let you know that, after this long year-and-a-half of working on Horizon, and doing all the things that that's required," the 69-year-old said in a June 20 Instagram video, "and thinking about Yellowstone—that beloved series that I love, that I know you love—I just realized that I am not going to be able to continue season 5-B, or into the future."

However, the Oscar winner admitted he's forever grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime role as the patriarch of the fictional Montana ranching family.

"It was something that really changed me," Costner, who starred on the drama for four and a half seasons from 2018 to 2022, added. "I loved it, and I know you loved it. I just wanted to let you know that I won't be returning."

However, he hopes fans will follow him to the theaters when his new four-part Western film saga Horizon premieres June 28.

"I love the relationship we've been able to develop," Costner concluded, "and I'll see you at the movies."

The Hatfields & McCoys alum's announcement came one day after Paramount revealed the long-awaited second half of season five will debut Nov. 10.

Costner's rumored exit in early 2023 shocked not only fans, but his co-workers too. In fact, Yellowstone creator Tyler Sheridan admitted he didn't expect the actor to bow out early.

"I'm disappointed," Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter last June. "It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn't alter it, but it truncates it."

"My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct," Sheridan added of his unexpected departure. "He and the network were arguing about when he could be done with Yellowstone. I said, 'We can certainly work a schedule toward [his preferred exit date],' which we did."

Keep reading to see more actors who left hit TV shows unexpectedly.

Reneé Rapp, The Sex Lives of College Girls
Ahead of The Sex Lives of College Girls' third season, Reneé Rapp announced she would be leaving the Max series.

"College Girls moved me out to LA and introduced me to some of my favorite people," she wrote on social media July 10. "2 and a half years later—it's given me y'all and this community."

The show's co-creator Mindy Kaling also confirmed Rapp's exit. "We love @reneerapp so much and of course will be so sad to say goodbye to Leighton Murray!" Kaling wrote on her Instagram Stories before referencing Rapp's thriving music career. "We can't wait to see our friend on tour!!"

Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy
After 19 years as Meredith Grey, Ellen Pompeo scrubbed in for the last time as a series regular on the ABC drama in the Feb. 23 episode.

"I gotta mix it up a little bit," Pompeo explained on The Drew Barrymore Show in December of last year, though she has already returned for a May guest appearance and continues narrating the series. "I'm 53, my brain is like scrambled eggs. I gotta do something new. You can't do The New York Times crossword puzzle every single day."

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