Yellowstone: Kevin Costner will not return as John Dutton for final series of western drama

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Kevin Costner won’t be returning to his starring role in the hit western drama Yellowstone for its final instalment.

The US actor, 69, posted a video on Instagram hours after Paramount said the second half of the fifth and final series will launch in November.

In the show, created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, Costner stars as John Dutton III, a Montana rancher who is determined to protect his family’s cattle ranch.

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Costner said he is now focused on creating Horizon: An American Saga, his new series of western films which he is directing and starring in, the first part of which premiered at this year’s Cannes film festival.

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

“It was something that really changed me. I loved it. And I know you loved it. And I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be returning and I love the relationship we’ve been able to develop and I’ll see you at the movies.”

The first series of Yellowstone launched in 2018 and it has picked up a large following over the years, with Costner earning a Golden Globe for best performance in a drama television series last year.

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It centres on Dutton’s ranch and the tensions and conflicts that arise with its neighbours, an Indian reservation, the Yellowstone National Park and an expanding town. The show also features American Sniper’s Luke Grimes, True Detective’s Kelly Reilly and American Beauty’s Wes Bentley.

The first part of the fifth series launched at the end of 2022, with delays for the second instalment being attributed to various reasons including the US actors’ strike. A series of spin-offs have been created, including prequels 1883, featuring Sam Elliott, and 1923, starring Harrison Ford and Dame Helen Mirren.

Costner has won two Oscars, for best picture and best director for 1990’s Dances With Wolves. He also had box office success with The Bodyguard opposite Whitney Houston and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

The second part of the fifth and final season of Yellowstone will debut on November 10.

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