In a surprising turn of events, Kevin Costner’s contract for Paramount+’s hit series Yellowstone has sparked a heated standoff. The actor, known for his starring role as John Dutton, included an unusual clause in his contract: a “moral death” provision.
This clause specifies the circumstances under which his character can be killed off, including deaths that might bring shame or embarrassment to the character.
Costner’s move has left industry insiders scratching their heads. Few, if any, have seen such a provision in a contract. However, this move is emblematic of Costner’s long-standing view of Yellowstone as The Kevin Costner Show.
According to Puck News, despite the series’ ensemble nature, Costner has maintained a significant presence and influence, aligning the show with his vision.
The ongoing standoff, exacerbated by strike-related delays, began when Costner refused to complete the second half of the fifth season. He sought a reduced work schedule to accommodate his directorial commitments to the second Horizon movie and insisted on a satisfying character arc. Blaming showrunner Taylor Sheridan for the delays, Costner took a stand.
Paramount and producer 101 Studios eventually decided to conclude Yellowstone with Season 5 and then restart it as a “sequel” series. This essentially marked a departure from the show’s earlier direction and a parting of ways with Costner.
As negotiations continue, the entertainment world watches with bated breath to see whether the moral death clause will be a defining factor in the fate of Yellowstone and Kevin Costner’s role in it.