'Yellowstone': Kevin Costner to Barely Appear in Rest of Season 5, Report Says

Following the news that Yellowstone may be ending at Paramount Network, it's been reported that series star Kevin Costner will barely appear in the rest of the season's episodes. According to Deadline, the actor requested to only be present for one week of filming the second half of Season 5. This is significantly down from the 65 days he offered to be available for filming the first 8 episodes and obviously would diminish his presence in the new episodes.

The new report seems to imply that Costner is not interested in spending as much time on Yellowstone as he is currently working on Horizon, a multi-part western epic which he will direct and star in. Costner also co-wrote with film with Jon Baird (Stan & Ollie, Filth). The project is in development at Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line. If the report is accurate, it also details unnamed insiders have stated that Paramount is looking to produce a continuation of Yellowstone with Matthew McConaughey in a new lead role. It is unclear who if any of the current cast would be part of this proposed spinoff.

In response to the report, a spokesperson for Paramount stated, "We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that's the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we'd love to partner."

Notably, back in December, Radar Online reported that Yellowstone co-star Cole Hauser was said to be eyeing Costner's top casting spot if the Hollywood icon leaves the series. In the show, Costner plays John Dutton, one of Montana's top cattle ranchers, as well as the new state governor. Hauser plays Rip Wheeler, his right-hand man at Dutton Ranch. "Cole doesn't want to do anything to offend Kevin. He likes him and doesn't mind his grumpiness or long, drawn-out silences, but he sees an opening here," an unnamed source told Radar. "Kevin's given off plenty of hints that season five will be his last and, if that's the case, Cole feels he should replace him as top dog."

At the time, it was unclear how much truth there could be in the prospect of Costner leaving. The "hints" Radar refers to seem to stem from an alleged comment Costner made, saying "I really don't know" when asked about his future at Yellowstone. The outlet also points to a previous report indicating Costner's wife, Christine Baumgartner, "wants her husband to hang up his cowboy hat."

"Cole figures he's paid his dues and has a lot to show for it," the source went on to say. "Kevin's getting older now and the time to pass the torch is coming." They added, "But Cole doesn't think the show should end just because Kevin's not in it. It's still got a lot of steam left in his view, but his pals hope he doesn't let it all go to his head." At this time, neither Costner nor Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan appear to have commented on the report.