Kevin Costner announces he's not returning to 'Yellowstone.' Here's exactly what he said

Days after telling Savannah Guthrie on TODAY that he would be willing to return to "Yellowstone," actor Kevin Costner is changing his tune.

Costner posted a video to Instagram on June 21 with the caption, "An update for you guys. I’ll see you at the movies."

Speaking to the camera, Costner addressed "Yellowstone" fans directly to confirm he would not be returning to the show in the near or distant future.

"I want to reach out and let you know that after this long year and a half of working on 'Horizon' and doing all of the things that that's required, and thinking about 'Yellowstone,' that beloved series that I love, that I know you love, I just realized I'm not going to be able to continue Season 5B or into the future," he said.

Costner reflected on the impact the Paramount series, which premiered exactly five years before Costner posted his video, had on his life. He then segued into the next stage of his career: a return to filmmaking.

"It was something that really changed me. I loved it and I know you loved it. I just wanted to let you know that I won't be returning. I love the relationship we've been able to develop and I'll see you at the movies," he said.

The actor previously told Savannah on TODAY June 17 that he has not ruled out returning to the show amid the ongoing drama around his involvement.

"I’ve supported that thing and I’ve loved it," he said. "It’s been really important to me. I would love to go back under the right circumstances I think that all of us want. For me, it really needs to be the right circumstances.

"Saying there’s a chance, there’s always a chance," he continued. "I love the thing. You’ve got to be really clear about that."

Costner played Dutton for five seasons since the show's inception in 2018. He told Deadline in an interview in May that he made a contract to play Dutton for Seasons Five, Six and Seven. He said that after negotiating for months, the contract then turned into one for Season 5A and 5B.

The first half of Season Five aired in 2022, and the second half has yet to air. Costner told Deadline he lived up to the “truth of the contract” and said he never shot the second half of Season Five because there was no script.

Yellowstone (Paramount+)
Yellowstone (Paramount+)

"Number one, I did it for five years, OK, and I want to work more than once a year," he said on TODAY. "We lost an entire year at one point and I thought, 'Well that can’t ever happen again.' It was well over a year.

"And I said, 'I just have to be in position to make the things.' There’s a chance to do both of them, but material has to be ready at certain times, and we weren’t able to do that."

Costner has insisted that it was a lack of scripts that prevented the second half of Season Five from being completed.

Reports in Deadline and Variety indicated Costner only wanted to film for a week for the second part of the fifth season. Paramount then said in February 2023 that “Kevin Costner is a big part of ‘Yellowstone’ and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come."

Costner is now promoting a separate Western project. The first part of his four-part "Horizon" movie, which Costner starred in, directed, co-wrote and produced, hits theaters June 28, with the second part premiering later this summer. Two more “Horizon” films are expected.

The actor received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19 after a screening of "Horizon: An American Saga." Costner wrote, produced and directed the movie in addition to starring in it.

TODAY.com has reached out to Paramount for comment on Costner's departure.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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