Rob Kirkland Addresses Several Rumors Regarding ‘Yellowstone’ Future

The actor discusses Kevin Costner’s potential departure, Matthew McConaughey’s rumored casting and when and how the beloved series will end

Actor Rob Kirkland, who plays Sheriff Bill Ramsey on the Kevin Costner-helmed hit television series Yellowstone is not shying away from revealing how Paramount plans to possibly move on from Costner’s starring role.

In case you missed all of the drama, Costner allegedly requested to complete the back half of season five in one week so he could squeeze a different historical series into his shooting schedule. His request was allegedly denied by the Paramount Network, which felt Yellowstone should be his priority, but rumors later started to circulate that Matthew McConaughey is in talks to either take over Costner’s role, or star in the spinoff series that would serve as a bridge during the transitional period. If proven true, that could mean the beloved series as fans know it is coming to an end. 

“Kevin was great to work with,” Kirkland tells LA Magazine as decisions behind the scenes continue to unfold. “We did have a hiatus. We had a plan to shoot fourteen episodes this season, which the network ordered a year and a half ago, but Kevin had a project that’s been long gestating that got greenlit, so the season was divided in half. We are going back to shoot the second half of season five this spring.”

“I was told to be on alert starting this month, so they’re starting pre-production and once everyone’s schedules get sorted out, they’ll call me and Sheriff Ramsey will be off and running and I cannot wait. I really, honestly cannot wait for people to see what is coming with that character and the show,” he added.

As for those McConaughey rumors, Kirkland says he knows there’s “big plans for the universe” moving forward, despite the casting drama, and would love for the A Time To Kill actor to join the cast. 

“I know the network wants some more Yellowstone, not just the prequels,” Kirkland said. “It would be great to have Matthew McConaughey in the universe. He would fit right in and [co-creator] Taylor Sheridan is a genius, so if he’s having that conversation, Taylor has thought it through from every single plot point. He’s really good at being committed to the story above all else so he would never take an actor, no matter how great they are, and shoehorn them in.” 

“If he’s talking to Matthew, it’s something that is going to fit, and might be something that has nothing to do with Kevin’s role at all,” he added. “It would be great to work with Matthew, if things align.” 

While casting details are still in limbo, Kirkland does know how and when the story of Yellowstone will end. 

“I have talked to Taylor a couple times and there’s a big plan that he’s had in mind for a couple of years. He has a clear direction of where he’s going with this show, and he knows how it’s gonna end, and he knows when it’s gonna end,” Kirkland said. 

Kirkland was attending the 5th annual Mammoth Film Festival in support of his upcoming feature film, Dyad, which tells the story of a young journalist who connects a couple of seemingly isolated high-profile deaths and is pulled into the orbit of a global cabal that counts media moguls, politicians, and Hollywood elites amongst its members. Nick Cassavetes, Paul Johannson, Lou Ferrigno Jr, Christian Combs, Melanie Rains, Denny Love, Miraj Grbic and Mark Hapka round out the cast. 

“When I read the script, I was like, ‘this is pretty intense’. It’s definitely one of the most physically and emotionally taxing roles that I’ve done. It’s way different emotionally than Yellowstone,” Kirkland said. 

The five-day festival featured over 80 films and appearances from actors such as Dylan Sprouse, Ashley Greene, and Bryan Greenberg, who all traveled to the Sierra Nevada Resort through a major blizzard to attend the festival. Kirkland remarked that the lengths attendees went to participate in the festival should warrant its own docu-series. 

“We have all these talented filmmakers here, someone should have a camera out… because it’s definitely been a trip. Drivers have had to dig their cars out of the snow, but it’s actually been kind of cool because people have been pretty cool during the festival and communicating; it’s kind of caused people to bond together,” Kirkland said. “We’ll be talking about how we all survived the Mammoth 2023 Film Festival blizzard.”

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