‘Yellowstone’ Creator Reportedly ‘Furious’ With Kevin Costner

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Paramount Network)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Drama behind the scenes of “Yellowstone” has been brewing for quite some time, according to a deep-dive analysis by one writer.

The fate of the hit modern western drama is currently up in the air, with huge questions over the show’s ongoing fifth season and its future beyond that. Rumors suggest that the central problem is the show’s leading man, Kevin Costner, who has drawn complaints about his ego, movie commitments and assistant.

In a February article, Puck News writer Matthew Belloni did a deep-dive analysis of the “Yellowstone” drama, finding that many of the cast, crew, and executives are “frustrated by [Costner’s] ego and his unavailability.”

Reports suggest that Costner is being paid $1.2 million per episode for the 14 episodes of season five, and will be paid $1.5 million per episode if there’s a season six. He’ll also receive an overall development deal with MTV Entertainment through 2025. This isn’t good enough for Costner, who now wants to be paid for all promotion days.

“Yellowstone” show creator Taylor Sheridan is apparently “furious” about the drama, as he can’t finish writing the second half of the fifth season until Costner’s drama is cleared up.

Costner was also busy pushing Paramount to acquire the domestic rights to his Civil War movie project, “Horizon.” Apparently “it wasn’t an express quid-pro-quo situation, but the Paramount people certainly felt Costner might suddenly become more available for ‘Yellowstone’ if the company agreed to board ‘Horizon’ and give it a late ’23 release,” Puck News noted.

Paramount said no. So Costner said he’s too busy filming the second move of the year to do “Yellowstone,” meaning we might not see the second half of season five until 2024. It could be that Costner will be killed off well before the series ends, sources told the outlet.

Costner’s long-time assistant, Glenn Kleczkowski isn’t making things easier, according to Puck’s sources. Apparently he insulted Sheridan on social media. Of Sheridan’s hit show “Tulsa King,” Kleczowski apparently said to “stick to westerns bro. You don’t know SHIT and THIS life. Stay in your lane, country boy. I’m actually embarrassed for you as a writer and creator.”

It’s unclear what Kleczowski is referring to, as “Tulsa King” is about a New York mobster (Sylvester Stallone) who is relocated to Tulsa after serving 25 in prison. In the comedy of errors, Sylvester deals with ranchers, pot dealers, cryptocurrency, and the feds. It’s one of those stories that’s so unbelievable it could be true, but how Kleczowski could possibly have any personal knowledge of its themes is just weird.

Is he also a New York mobster who moved to Oklahoma to start a new branch of his organized crime syndicate? Maybe? Who knows! But it’s pretty darn stupid to bite the hand that feeds the guy who feeds you. Sheridan apparently found out about the comment, and it was quickly deleted.

Considering actors have literally the easiest jobs ever — reading lines someone else wrote, moving their bodies in a way someone else tells them to — and getting paid more than firefighters, veterans, teachers and people who actually contribute to the betterment of humanity, this entire situation is pathetic. (RELATED: REPORT: The Next ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel Announced By Paramount Executive)

Everyone involved in this “Yellowstone” drama needs to grow up, realize they made a commitment that is more important than any single individual and finish up filming so that we the audience — who pay to make this thing possible with ridiculous subscription fees — can get a good story and move on. Costner could seriously destroy his legacy if he doesn’t wrap this thing soon. If the rumors are true, that is.