Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan developed a ‘god complex’ on the set of the ill-fated show, causing friction with its leading man Kevin Costner – as well as several other stars – a source close to production told DailyMail.com exclusively.
On Monday, it was reported that Paramount’s blockbuster Western series is set to end after the upcoming second half of its fifth season aired – with many placing blame for the show’s abrupt finale on friction between Sheridan, 52, and Costner, 68.
Now, a source with detailed knowledge about the show has revealed new claims about the tension between the series’ creator and its star actor, telling DailyMail.com: ‘Certain people in charge of the production developed a God complex.’
The insider also alleged that Costner was left frustrated at how his concerns over the direction the series was taking were dismissed by Sheridan – saying that the actor, who also serves as an executive producer on Yellowstone – was told to ‘stick to acting’ when he raised questions about the future of the show.
‘Kevin will forever be proud of and grateful for Yellowstone and the cast is like family to him,’ the source said of Costner, who recently nabbed a Golden Globe Award for best actor for his portrayal of John Dutton.
Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan, 52 (seen with leading man Kevin Costner in 2018) allegedly developed a ‘god complex’ on the set of blockbuster series
A source has made new claims about the so-called rift between 68-year-old Costner (seen in the show) and the series creator, telling DailyMail.com that they had creative differences
‘He just felt like Yellowstone is headed in a direction that was not in line with their initial vision and he was met with criticism, including that he should just stick to acting.’
DailyMail.com has contacted representatives for Costner, Sheridan, and Paramount for comment.
Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Costner’s desire to cut down his workload on the fifth season to focus on other projects was also to blame for the tension between him and Sheridan.
Costner is currently directing and starring in Horizon, a western film series consisting of four separate movies that will be released three months apart from each other.
Each film is close to three hours long and after the quadruple release, Horizon is going to be broken into a series for television – each with 42-minute episodes.
‘It’s the same as with any show runner and big star — there’s respect, but there’s friction,’ a source described as ‘well-placed’ within the production told the outlet.
Another ‘highly placed’ Hollywood source told the outlet that some of the blame for the ‘friction’ on set lies with its creator.
‘Taylor is the star of his show. He’s the most important person on all of his shows,’ they said.
A source told DailyMail.com that Sheridan (seen at 2017 Cannes Film Festival) and Costner fell out over creative differences – which were aggravated by the creator’s so-called ‘God complex’
Adding to the uncertainty around the series is the lack of a date to resume filming for the second half of the latest season, which could be disrupted by an impending shutdown after members of the Writers Guild of America voted to authorize a strike over pay issues.
The first half of the fifth season ended back in January, but so far a date hasn’t even been set yet to start production on the second half, leaving it potentially vulnerable to the likely writers strike.
However, the production source told the Post: ‘We’re hoping it will be worked out. It’s too big a show for things not to be worked out.
‘Hopefully Kevin will return for the remaining episodes, if everyone works together, but it looks like Yellowstone will end after this season.’
But a third source who knows Sheridan seemed to suggest that the writer and director was keeping the negotiations close to the vest, making it difficult to get a sense of what is really going on behind the scenes.
‘Only Taylor truly knows what what is going on,’ they said mysteriously.
According to the Hollywood source, it was Sheridan’s relatively late-in-life rise to prominence in the industry that has fueled his ‘ego.’
‘Taylor spent years not being truly appreciated in Hollywood, and now that he’s the top of the heap, there’s definitely some ego to all of this,’ they said.
The end? Sources say Yellowstone will end after the second half of its fifth season and Costner may never return to the series (Sheridan and Costner in 2018)
Costner (on set of Yellowstone during season three) has been busy directing Horizon, four separate movies that are being released three months apart
Deadline reported in February that Costner wanted to shoot for only a week on the second half of season five, after he had already shortened his work on the first half.
The apparent reason was that the actor wanted to focus on his upcoming Western film franchise Horizon.
But Costner’s attorney Marty Singer shot back after the report and claimed to Puck News that it was an ‘absolute lie’ that his client would only shoot for a week.
‘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,’ he said at the time.
And the Hollywood source seemed to confirm Costner’s willingness to go back to work, though in this case it was allegedly Sheridan’s lack of preparation that got in the way of things.
They added that Sheridan was ‘overburdened’ and ‘nothing was ready’ even after Costner ‘made himself available.
They said that Costner was prepared to shoot the second half of the season sometime last year, as well as in January of this year, but there were allegedly no completed scripts to shoot at the time.
‘Kevin’s been extremely cooperative with working with Taylor and his production company, 101 Studios. They were supposed to shoot the second chapter of Season five late last year, but they just didn’t have the scripts,’ the Hollywood source claimed.
Paramount may want to let Yellowstone end, as Peacock controls streaming rights to it, while Paramount has full control of all its spinoffs and other shows from Sheridan
‘Kevin had already committed to making his other movies. He had given the producers his schedule,’ they said. ‘There was nothing to shoot.’
Sheridan has significantly expanded his reach in recent years.
Although he wrote and directed the entirety of Yellowstone’s first season, he stepped back in subsequent seasons and let other directors fill in, though he continued to write or co-write almost every script.
But he has added several more shows to his portfolio, all of which have significant creative input from him.
In 2021, his Jeremy Renner–starring series Mayor Of Kingstown premiered, and Sheridan directed two episodes and wrote the entire first season, before decreasing his load on the second season.
He then directed the pilot and wrote every episode of his Yellowstone prequel series 1883, and he has also written every episode of the subsequent prequel series 1923.
In 2022, Sheridan created the Sylvester Stallone–starring series Tulsa King, which he wrote the pilot for, and he created and is serving as showrunner on the upcoming spy series Lioness, starring Nicole Kidman and Zoë Saldaña.
The next series Sheridan has created is the Western Bass Reeves, starring David Oyelowo and Dennis Quaid, which he is set to direct the pilot for.
Paramount seems to be hedging its bets on Costner.
Paramount Network President Keith Cox says he was ‘very confident Costner’s going to continue with our show.’
The series airs live on the Paramount Network, but it streams on the NBC’s service Peacock due to a licensing deal.
Peacock retains the streaming rights to Yellowstone for four years after its final episode airs, meaning that the long the show goes on, the long it can hold on to its exclusive.
However, the subsequent Yellowstone spinoffs — and other Sheridan shows — air on the Paramount+ streamer.