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Kevin Costner, Creator Taylor Sheridan and ‘Yellowstone’ Lead Cast Drop Out of PaleyFest Amid His Exit Rumors

Kevin Costner:Taylor Sheridan Break Silence About 'Yellowstone' Exit Rumors- Details - 515
Kevin Costner.Paramount Network

Where’s John Dutton? Amid speculation surrounding Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone future, the actor, show creator Taylor Sheridan and lead cast all dropped out of their planned PaleyFest appearance on Saturday, April 1.

Related: What the 'Yellowstone' Cast Has Said About Delays, Kevin Costner Drama

Costner, 68, was initially slated to attend a panel and special screening of the show at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Per the official event website, he was also scheduled to participate in a Q&A with Sheridan, 52, executive producer David Glasser and cast members Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Bentley, Gil Birmingham and Jacki Weaver.

However, the entire cast did not appear and were replaced by their costars Josh Lucas, Wendy Moniz, Mo Brings Plenty and Dawn OlivieriUs Weekly, who attended the panel, can confirm that the audience did not receive advance notice of the lineup switch until they had already taken their seats inside the auditorium and press was notified 30 minutes before the red carpet began.

“You guys knew the listed cast wasn’t showing up and didn’t let fans know?? So disrespectful,” a Twitter user wrote at the time, sharing their disappointment. “All credibility has been lost for future panels.”

While the fans were upset about the cast change, the stars who did attend couldn’t help but gush about their experience on the western drama — and working with Costner.

“I don’t think that we built [our chemistry]. I just think that we had definitely had a natural ease with each other out of the gate and it came across on screen it seems,” Moniz, who plays Lynelle Perry on Yellowstone, exclusively told Us on the Saturday red carpet. “I think sometimes people have chemistry naturally and sometimes they don’t, and they have to fake it and it still works. It’s that intangible thing. But working with him has just been really easy and a pleasure and we find humor in our scenes together and playfulness and I think that that helps with the dynamic too.”

Kevin Costner, Taylor Sheridan and ‘Yellowstone’ Lead Cast Drop Out of PaleyFest Panel Amid Exit Rumors
Wendy Moniz, Josh Lucas, Dawn Olivieri, and Mo Brings Plenty attend PaleyFest in Los Angeles on April 1, 2023. Rob Latour/Shutterstock

She added: “We haven’t started [filming the new episodes yet], no. We know [Taylor] is writing and we’re looking forward to getting back.”

Rumors about Yellowstone’s return and Costner’s future on the show originally surfaced in February when Deadline reported that Paramount Network was considering a shakeup after his Golden Globe win for the role of John Dutton III. According to the outlet, the western drama would shift to a spinoff series led by Matthew McConaughey due to alleged scheduling disagreements with Costner, 68.

The network, however, denied the report but acknowledged they’d love to work with McConaughey, 53.

Related: Yellowstone's Offscreen Drama Through the Years: On-Set Tension and More

“We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come,” a spokesperson for the series told Deadline in a statement at the time. “Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner.” (McConaughey’s new spinoff was officially announced earlier on Saturday.)

That same month, Puck published an exposé that claimed the Dances With Wolves director and Sheridan, 52, were to blame for season 5 filming delays. (The Yellowstone cast who did attend PaleyFest told Us they did not know when filming would resume or if Costner would return.)

Related: Kevin Costner Through the Years: Marriages, Movies, 'Yellowstone' and More

Costner’s lawyer Marty Singer shut down speculation that his client was involved with production issues. “The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie,” the attorney told Puck at the time. “It’s ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second. As everyone who knows anything about Kevin is well aware, he is incredibly passionate about the show and has always gone way above and beyond to ensure its success.”

Paramount Network issued a statement in response to the reporting as well, saying, “As we previously stated, Kevin has been a key component of the success of our Yellowstone series, and we hope that continues from here on out.”

The network’s development president, Keith Cox, noted during Saturday’s PaleyFest panel that he was “very confident” in Costner’s commitment to Yellowstone. Cox also noted his hopes that filming for the second half of season 5 would begin soon.

With reporting by Stephanie Webber

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