Taylor Sheridan is currently beefing with more than one Yellowstone star.
The show’s creator is embroiled with two actors from the smash hit, Kevin Costner—who led the series as John Dutton but exited the show before Season 5 was completed—and Cole Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler.
With the fifth season of Yellowstone being its last, it remains to be seen whether more feuds coming to light after it eventually airs. But for now, Sheridan and his attorneys appear to have their hands full. Here’s everything to know about Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner’s feud and Cole Hauser and Taylor Sheridan’s lawsuit.
Why is Kevin Costner suing Taylor Sheridan?
Costner hasn’t actually filed a lawsuit against Sheridan, but during his divorce proceedings, he reportedly testified that he’d “probably” go to court over his Yellowstone exit. He alleged that he had to alter production of his Horizon film franchise, which cost him a cool $10 million of his own money, to film Yellowstone—but that the Yellowstone scripts weren’t ready to shoot.
Sheridan previously has said he and Paramount were happy to work around Costner’s Horizon schedule.
Who is suing Cole Hauser?
Sheridan is suing Hauser.
It’s not the first time they haven’t seen eye to eye, but it’s the first time lawyers have gotten involved. As it turns out, according to Hauser, they came to blows the very second time they ever met, and Hauser told Men’s Journal he’s by far a stranger from bar fights.
“Does a bear s—t in the woods? I’ve probably been in one on every continent. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with fighting,” he said in an April 2022 interview. “Sometimes I’m just tired of words, so let’s beat the s—t out of each other. Maybe at the end of it you’ll buy me a Guinness and I’ll buy you a Bushmills, and we’ll be done. It’s kind of what guys do.”
Why is Taylor suing Cole?
Sheridan filed a lawsuit over the logo of Hauser’s coffee brand, Free Rein, which looks quite similar to that of Sheridan’s own coffee brand, Bosque Ranch, according to NBC News. Sheridan’s suit alleges that Free Rein committed “trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising” with their logo, claiming that it was a deliberate move to “mistake or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association” of the brand.
You can see both logos below and decide for yourself!
What does Taylor Sheridan have to say about Kevin Costner?
Sheridan isn’t thrilled that Costner exited Yellowstone early and said it “truncates” John Dutton’s character arc. That said, he doesn’t necessarily have any personal animosity towards Costner.
“Once lawyers get involved, then people don’t get to talk to each other and start saying things that aren’t true and attempt to shift blame based on how the press or public seem to be reacting,” Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter. “He took a lot of this on the chin and I don’t know that anyone deserves it. His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus. I sure hope [the movie is] worth it—and that it’s a good one.”
Why do Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner not get along?
Truly, it depends on who you ask. The generally accepted story, which an insider told Puck News, is that before the Writers Guild of America strike began in May 2023, Costner and Sheridan were actually in negotiations for Costner to potentially return to Yellowstone after Sheridan wrote him out. Sheridan was reportedly considering writing John Dutton into Season 5B and potential Seasons 6 and 7, but Costner’s scheduling and creative demands (including rights to veto and edit Sheridan’s scripts) caused the talks to fizzle completely.
What is the issue between Sheridan and Costner?
At its core, this is an issue that sounds like it’s about control. According to Puck News, Sheridan, Costner and Paramount were willing to try working out their schedules to accommodate one another, but that it was Costner’s desire for more creative input over Sheridan’s scripts that led Sheridan and Paramount to walk away. The Puck report noted that Costner already had a moral clause for John Dutton in his contract, which meant he could stipulate that his character wouldn’t have to engage in unsavory, unlawful or generally uncool conduct if he didn’t approve it first.