Matthew McConaughey’s “Yellowstone” spinoff is officially moving forward at Paramount regardless of Kevin Costner’s future on the franchise’s flagship show.
Paramount Media Networks President and CEO Chris McCarthy confirmed in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter the 53-year-old actor is lined up to star in an extension series set within the “Yellowstone” universe.
According to McCarthy, McConaughey’s upcoming show is going ahead regardless of whether Costner, who is rumored to be considering an exit, remains with the original series.
While McCarthy said he didn’t have any updates regarding Costner’s future on “Yellowstone,” he told the outlet the mega-hit Western “wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin, and we hope that that stays for a long time to come.”
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The executive also revealed that the “Dallas Buyers Club” star’s pending series is one of more than ten projects he has in the works with “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan’s “Yellowstone” empire already includes prequels “1883” and “1923” as well as the upcoming spinoff “Bass Reeves.”
In February, Deadline reported that McConaughey was in talks to lead a “Yellowstone” franchise extension as the original series might be coming to an end amid scheduling conflicts with Costner. The 68-year-old actor, who recently won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of “Yellowstone” patriarch John Dutton, reportedly wanted to reduce his time filming the series.
At the time, a Paramount Network spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of ‘Yellowstone,’ and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come.
“Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built.”
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The network added, “Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner.”
Costner’s lawyer, Marty Singer, slammed reports that the actor was not willing to work as much to film season 5 and season 6 of “Yellowstone.”
“The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season 5 of ‘Yellowstone’ is an absolute lie,” Singer said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “It’s ridiculous, and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second. 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.”
Paramount Network has announced “Yellowstone” season 5 is set to return in the summer of 2023. And “1923,” which stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, aired its first season finale in February and is confirmed to return for a second season.
Last month, McConaughey shared a birthday tribute to “Yellowstone” star Cole Hauser, which further fueled speculation among fans the two might be teaming up for another installment in the franchise. Hauser, 48, plays ranch hand Rip Wheeler and husband to Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly).
McConaughey, who starred alongside Hauser in the 1993 comedy “Dazed and Confused,” posted a throwback image of the duo at a Texas Longhorns game in 2006.
“keep ridin Cole Kenny, happy birthday, Matthew David,” the Academy Award winner wrote in the caption.
Representatives for Paramount Network and Matthew McConaughey did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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