April 20, 2024

Kevin Costner ‘Yellowstone’ Contract Prevents Embarrassing Death: Puck

  • Puck reported Thursday that Kevin Costner has a “moral death” clause in his “Yellowstone” contract.
  • The clause is said to list general ways Costner’s character, John Dutton, can and can’t die.
  • Costner said this month the show’s fifth season being split in half finalized his decision to leave.

Kevin Costner has a clause in his contract for “Yellowstone” that determines the ways his character, John Dutton, can and can’t be killed off from the show, Puck reported on Thursday.

The “moral death” clause lists general ways the character is allowed to die, and prevents the character from dying in a way that would be shameful or embarrassing, according to the outlet.

Puck also reported, citing unnamed sources, that Costner and his team suspected “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan’s planned death for John Dutton would’ve violated the “moral death” provision. However, sources with the show disputed that to the outlet.

Representatives for Costner and Paramount Network did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

It’s unclear exactly how common it is for TV actors to have contract clauses that stipulate how their characters can be killed off. Some industry lawyers told Puck it was unusual and they’d never seen something like Costner’s.

But at least one A-lister has publicly confirmed her contracts confront the potential death of her characters. Queen Latifah has had a “no death” clause in her contracts since the 1990s, according to Vanity Fair. Latifah discussed the clause last year, saying it was added after she realized her character was dying in all the movies she did.

The news about Costner’s unusual “Yellowstone” contract clause comes amid a turbulent ending to the hugely popular show. Reports of a falling out between Costner and Sheridan began earlier this year, suggesting the show would come to an end because the star and the creator couldn’t come to an agreement on shooting schedules.

In May, Paramount announced “Yellowstone” was officially concluding after the second half of the fifth season, which was originally slated for the fall, though the Hollywood writers strike that began in May, followed by the actors strike in July, have delayed production.

There is also a “Yellowstone” spinoff in the works that will potentially star Matthew McConaughey.

Costner, who is also dealing with a contentious divorce, said in court earlier this month he may sue the show in order to be paid out, and that she decision to split the fifth season in half finalized his decision to leave.

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