Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey is in negotiations to star in a new Taylor Sheridan series that appears to be rising from the ashes of Yellowstone, which will reportedly wrap up its five-season run this summer as a result of scheduling conflicts involving the show’s star, Kevin Costner.
McConaughey’s series is said to be a franchise extension that will feature several cast members from Yellowstone, though it’s unclear who will join him at this time. Don’t be surprised if Cole Hauser is one of them, though, as he and McConaughey go way back, having co-starred in Dazed and Confused together.
Deadline broke the news, saying it’s unclear whether McConaughey’s series will take place on the Dutton ranch in Montana or elsewhere, but it’s expected to premiere on the linear cable channel Paramount Network before streaming exclusively on Paramount+. The current season of Yellowstone is currently streaming on Peacock due to deals that were made before it became a ratings hit, which may be another reason that Paramount brass is willing to end the hit series before its expiration date. As it stands, the studio has not announced a Season 6 renewal.
According to Deadline, Costner has been looking to spend less time shooting the series, as he’s prepping his multi-part western epic Horizon for Warner Bros. and New Line. Not only will he star in that film, but he’s also directing from a script he co-wrote with Jon Baird, so clearly, that project has become a priority for him. Deadline claims that while Costner has spent 65 days shooting past seasons of Yellowstone, he wanted to shoot his part in the first half of Season 5 episodes in 50 days, and he only wanted to spend a week shooting the second half of episodes.
That has posed a problem for both Sheridan and his cast, who are said to be suffering low morale given Costner’s lack of time commitment. Paramount reportedly declined Costner’s proposal and is instead planning to end the series and fast-track this new one with McConaughey, who earned an Emmy nomination for his turn in the first season of HBO’s True Detective.
Paramount, for its part, can somewhat afford to move on from Costner’s flagship series as Yellowstone did its job quite effectively, setting the stage for not one but two prequel series between 1883 and 1923, the latter of which is coming back for a second season following its premiere last December. There are also two additional limited series prequels in the works that are set on the ranch in the 1940s and the ’60s. Sheridan is also developing a contemporary series titled 6666 that is set on the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas, where ranch hand Jimmy Hurdstrom (Jefferson White) learned to be a real cowboy in Season 4 of Yellowstone.
Costner may want to ask Sheridan for advice on how to balance multiple projects at once, as in addition to all of the Yellowstone shows, Sheridan is also behind Mayor of Kingstown starring Jeremy Renner and Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone, plus the upcoming shows Lioness starring Zoe Saldaña and Nicole Kidman, and Bass Reeves starring David Oyelowo as the first Black U.S. marshal. Meanwhile, the Billy Bob Thornton series Land Man is slated to start production in May.
A representative for Paramount downplayed the discord in a statement to Deadline, saying that the studio hopes Kevin Costner remains a big part of Yellowstone “for a long time to come,” and that execs are “always working on franchise expansions” of Sheridan’s world, while adding that “McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner.” In other words, nothing to see her, folks! Until there is, of course. Stay tuned…