Kevin Costner says he wasn't to blame for “Yellowstone” scheduling issues: 'There were no scripts'

"I don’t know why they didn’t stick up for me."

John Dutton would like a word.

It's no secret that the Yellowstone world has been filled with drama, though not the onscreen kind that made the show so popular. At this point, fans have been waiting more than a year for the series to wrap up its fifth season, which, as of May 2023 was announced to be the show's last. That news came after reports of alleged scheduling issues with series star Kevin Costner, who plays patriarch John Dutton. Costner was then revealed to be leaving the show.

Around that time, series creator Taylor Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter that he was "disappointed" by Coster's exit. "His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus. I sure hope [the movie is] worth it — and that it's a good one," Sheridan said at the time, referencing Costner's film Horizon: An American Saga.

Paramount Network Kevin Costner on 'Yellowstone'
Paramount Network Kevin Costner on 'Yellowstone'

But now, Costner is speaking out about what he claims messed with the scheduling of the series. In a new interview with Deadline, Costner says he signed a contract to make seven seasons of the show before it was renegotiated to only include seasons 5A and 5B. But when it came time to make those seasons, the production wasn't ready. "Basically, we were starting in April and May, and we’d usually go through August. We’d do 10 [episodes]. We didn’t even get 10 done during that time."

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According to Costner, the problem was a lack of scripts. "You’ve been reading one version [of this behind-the-scenes drama] for a year and a half. I left my movie to be on time for them for 5B. I left exactly when they wanted, and it made it hard on me. It turns out they didn’t have the scripts for 5B. They needed four more days just to complete the first eight episodes. I left early to give them what they needed to have a complete eight, and I felt bad that the audience didn’t get 10."

Related: The 10 best Yellowstone episodes

Costner also directly addressed rumors that he was supposedly only willing to film for a week, saying, "There were no scripts. I said, 'Look, if you want to end this elegantly, the best I can do is give you a week. And if you can figure out a storyline…' And they took that and a source on their side spun that into, well, he only wants to work a week for a whole season."

The star says this all happened because they shut down production on the season and he "didn't work for 14 months." "I made Yellowstone the first priority, and to insinuate anything else would be wrong," he says. "I did not initiate any of those things. They did. They were doing a tap dance and this poor guy was also having to write so much. And I don’t know why they didn’t stick up for me."

Related: Luke Grimes reflects on Kevin Costner's Yellowstone exit: 'You gotta do what you gotta do'

He adds, "It’s just that simple: Paramount and 101 Studios mismanaged this. They had me for five, six, and seven. I agreed to do it. And then they steadily began changing their format."

That being said, Costner reiterates what he's said a few times recently, which is that he's still willing to return. "If the writing is there, I will be there too," he says.

Last fans heard, Yellowstone was going to air its final episodes in November before launching a sequel series in December.

For more, read Costner's full interview with Deadline.

Paramount did not immediately respond to Entertainment Weekly's request for comment.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.