Costner Cut Ties With Yellowstone, But Keeps Up ‘Will They, Won’t They’ Charade For Some Reason


John Dutton is one stubborn b**tard.

John Dutton refuses to go away. The character’s fate is not overly optimistic, as Kevin Costner has no plans to return to Yellowstone, even to finish filming the rest of season five. Nevertheless, he has been keeping up the charade. The 68-year-old Oscar winner refuses to go into the shadows regarding his recent dispute with Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan.

There are new files that have been released in connection with Costner’s divorce from his second wife, Christine Baumgartner, that also shed light on Costner’s fate regarding Yellowstone. According to new court documents, Costner is “no longer under contract” with Yellowstone, yet the “will he, won’t he” antics continue. So what gives?

Court documents reveal Costner is walking away from Yellowstone

According to documents filed in divorce court regarding Kevin Costner’s ugly split from Christine Baumgartner, Costner is “no longer under contract” with Paramount Network. The reports indicate that this comes directly from Costner’s legal team, who filed a response after Baumgartner asked for a whopping $248,000 in monthly child support.

However, despite reportedly earning $1.3 million per episode for season five of Yellowstone, Costner simply doesn’t have that kind of money. According to court documents, the actor admits he doesn’t expect to receive any financial compensation from Yellowstone in 2023, aside from “back-end contractual participation rights.”

Costner claims to be broke after leaving Yellowstone

The court declaration (filed in June 2023) adds that Costner does not have a “pay-or-play” agreement with Paramount Network. “Pay-or-play is reserved in Hollywood for in-demand, A-list Hollywood actors and directors. The pay-or-play deal guarantees that the actor will be paid even if they are not directly working on new episodes. In fact, the pay continues even after the actor leaves the show or is released from a contract.


Unfortunately, the same type of agreement does not exist with Costner which is why he is claiming he is broke and does not have the funds to cover the monthly child support requested. In fact, Costner anticipates earning “substantially less” this year compared to in 2022.

Costner prepared for split from Yellowstone, not from second wife

Kevin Costner reportedly told Baumgartner last year that he expected the family to take a financial hit in 2023. Costner was reportedly already preparing to leave Yellowstone. In addition, since he was postponing his salary for the upcoming four-part movie series Horizon, Costner anticipated money problems.

Nevertheless, the actor was “blindsided” by Baumgartner’s decision to file for divorce in May 2023, and has been trying to recover ever since. The timing wasn’t ideal, considering Costner was already feuding with Taylor Sheridan over how he planned to “kill off” John Dutton from the show.

Sheridan struggles to finish Yellowstone

The Costner drama is not the only issue currently affecting Yellowstone. Sheridan has yet to finish writing the remaining episodes for season five, making the show’s expected November 2023 release date highly questionable. In addition, the current writers’ strike is stalling production on Yellowstone spin-offs, such as the upcoming Matthew McConaughey series.


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