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Kevin Costner nearly turned down Yellowstone, here’s why

Yellowstone has become one of the biggest drama series currently running, but lead star Kevin Costner wasn't entirely sure about it art first

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone

The Yellowstone franchise of TV series has become a pop culture juggernaut. Besides the base drama series starring Kevin Costner, we’ve got no less than three spin-offs, including Yellowstone 1923 and 6666. It all might not have happened without Costner in the lead role, and he wasn’t completely convinced at first.

As he explained to Entertainment Tonight, the scope off Yellowstone changed during development, and as the lead star, he grew a little sceptical. “I thought we were going to do one long movie, ten hours,” Costner says. “So I’m down with long, I understand long really well, and it was pitched to me we were going to do one long movie. Somewhere along the line, they wanted to turn [it] into a series, and you kinda have to look at things again.”

Eventually, Costner trusted his gut that this was something special he shouldn’t turn down. “I have my own internal reasons why I ended up doing it,” he stated, “but ultimately, there’s that window of opportunity… [where] you gotta jump creatively, and so I did that. I’m happy for the show and everyone in it.”

Created by Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone has become a juggernaut for Paramount. The base thriller series follows Costner as John Dutton, the patriarch of a ranch who navigates a troubled family and trying to preserve his land.

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The original was so warmly received more and more shows in the universe are being greenlit, all tackling different generations of Duttons. Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are the leads in 1923, proving the franchise getting Costner was no accident, and 1883 season 2 is set to deepen the overall history even further.

Yellowstone season 5 kicked off in November of this year, while 1923 started December 18, both on Paramount Plus. Have a look at our list of the best Netflix series for more televisual streaming choices.