In a new report, Puck News claims that the 68-year-old actor’s reps were “basically begging” creator Taylor Sheridan and Paramount to have him return for the second half of the series’ fifth season and beyond. ET has reached out to reps for Costner and Paramount for comment.
According to the report, Costner’s rep managed to arrange a phone call for the actor and Sheridan, though the creator had already written most of the second half of season 5 assuming the actor wouldn’t be back.
Sheridan, the outlet claims, was willing to rewrite the episodes to get Costner back, but was less keen on the actor’s other demands: more money, a reduced shooting schedule, and the right to review, approve, and veto every script. It was the final ask that was a non-starter for Sheridan, according to the outlet, and Costner’s Yellowstone exit was announced shortly thereafter.
As for how Costner’s John Dutton will be written off of Yellowstone, the outlet claims that the actor has a “moral death” provision in his contract, which lists ways the character can and can’t be killed off. While the outlet reports that Costner has yet to read the scripts with his character’s exit, the report alleges that they believe Sheridan’s plan may violate that clause.
Back in June, Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter that he doesn’t do “f**k-you car crashes” to get rid of characters. That statement was seemingly in reference to Patrick Dempsey‘s Grey’s Anatomy death, after behind-the-scenes drama with creator Shonda Rhimes.
“Whether [Dutton’s fate] inflates [Costner’s] ego or insults is collateral damage that I don’t factor in with regard to storytelling,” Sheridan told the outlet.
Earlier this month, Costner’s Yellowstone drama came up in court amid the actor’s divorce from Christine Baumgartner. At a child support hearing, Costner said that he’s yet to reach an exit agreement for his Yellowstone departure and noted that litigation with the network may be forthcoming.