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Kevin Costner “Disappointed” by Rumors About His ‘Yellowstone’ Exit: “I Love That World”

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Kevin Costner spoke out this week against rumors that his alleged exit from Yellowstone was a result of behind-the-scenes tension with his ego.

“I loved the show,” Costner told People. “I liked the people on the show. I liked what it was about. I love that world.”

Costner originated the protagonist, John Dutton, on Taylor Sheridan’s Paramount drama, and played the role for five seasons before rumors that he planned to exit the show began making consistent headlines. Many claimed the Oscar-winner was orchestrating a step back to make room for his Horizon: An American Saga, which released its first chapter at the Cannes Film Festival last month. Plans for the future of Yellowstone have yet to be announced.

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“When it was first pitched to me by Taylor [Sheridan] it was one season and [like] a long movie, which [is] speaking my language… but ultimately, I think what happened was the studio didn’t want that,” Costner said of the initial job. “And because he’s such a prolific writer, he said, ‘I can do that. I can make a series that goes on.’”

Costner said he “stepped up” to the extension, and told Sheridan, “I’ll do it for three seasons… and I ended up doing it for five.” He added that he was game to continue past the fifth, but no one could provide a timeline on the production.

“There was a moment where that show for me stopped for 14 months,” he said. “That’s the fact. I could have done a lot of things in that time, but I wasn’t aware that that [hold-up] was going to happen.”

When rumors began to swirl that he was leaving due to his ego, Costner said he was “disappointed” that no one defended him. “I read all the stories,” he said. “I was disappointed that nobody on their side… ever stepped up to defend what it was I actually did for them. There came a moment where I thought, ‘Wow, when is somebody going to say something about what I have done versus what I haven’t done?’”

Despite the drama, the actor still has many good things to say about Sheridan’s Yellowstone universe.

“I liked the writing and really, really liked what Taylor was doing,” he said. “He understood the world of modern-day ranching and was able to create all this other type of drama inside it, but in an effective way.”

He even said that if the script feels right, he hasn’t written off coming back for more. “I’ve always felt that… It might be an interesting moment to come back and finish the mythology of this modern-day family,” he said. “And if that happens, I would step into it if I agreed with how it was being done.”

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