Kevin Costner is ready to direct again for the first time since his 2003 critically acclaimed film, Open Range. The actor, who will soon be hanging up his hat as his role as John Dutton in Yellowstone comes to a close, will direct the Western period film Horizon. Currently in production in Utah, it seems like this is exactly the kind of project where Costner shines. It's an old-school western where he'll be working behind the scenes as well as in a starring role, and he's been working on bringing the story to the screen for literally decades.
Despite the excitement around a new Costner Western, his new saga isn't without some drama. 2023 has been a rough one for Costner so far, as he's been the center of a fair amount of drama surrounding the future of Yellowstone. Despite his decision to walk away and, ultimately Taylor Sheridan's decision to end the series after wrapping up Season 5, the beloved star couldn't be more thrilled about his new project. Here's everything to know about Horizon.
Costner will produce, finance and star in the film through his own production company, Territory Pictures Inc. He also wrote the script with Jon Baird. The movie is already drawing comparisons to Costner's epic 1990 film Dances With Wolves, which was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. It also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture --Drama. In short, it really put Costner on the map as a bonafide filmmaker and not just a heartthrob of the 90s.
According to Deadline, the project has been in the works for years and will follow a 15-year span of post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American West. The plot is said to tell the story of settlers that make their way across America and the dangers they face in search of a prosperous life. Costner decided to expand his project into a series of four movies that will be released three months apart from each other.
Speaking with Deadline, Costner stated, "America's expansion into the west was one that was fraught with peril and intrigue from the natural elements, to the interactions with the indigenous peoples who lived on the land, and the determination and at many times ruthlessness of those who sought to settle it. Horizon tells the story of that journey in an honest and forthcoming way, highlighting the points of view and consequences of the characters' life and death decisions."
Casting was a major undertaking as Costner had the daunting task of filling 170 speaking roles. Sam Worthington and Sienna Miller both signed on as two of the main stars for the project as well as Stranger Things star Jamie Campbell Bower. Apparently, his son will also have a role.
"I am very excited and humbled to go on this incredible and important journey with Kevin, who is one of the industry's finest and inspiring storytellers," said Worthington.
"I am so excited to go on this epic journey with such a legendary actor and director at the helm. The story is riveting. I am very honored to be a part of it," added Miller.
Here's a rundown of the confirmed cast members, though character names are currently unknown:
- Abbey Lee
- Kevin Costner
- Jena Malone
- Sam Worthington
- Michael Angarano
- Giovanni Ribisi
- Sienna Miller
- Will Patton
- Michael Rooker
- Isabelle Fuhrman
- Kathleen Quinlan
- Luke Wilson
- Jamie Campbell Bower
- Danny Huston
- Dale Dickey
- Charles Baker
He hasn't been this passionate since the 90s
Following the news of his breakup from wife Christine, Costner shared a photo of his director's chair in what looks like a Western landscape in Utah. Deep in the midst of filming, which has famously interfered with wrapping up the end of Yellowstone Season 5, Costner couldn't be more excited about his current project.
"We're deep into the production of #HorizonFilm, and, I have to tell you, I haven't felt this way about a movie since we were making Dances With Wolves. Can't wait to share it with all of you," the Oscar winner posted.
He's invested millions from his own bank account
Costner opened up in another interview with Deadline, where he shared that he had his idea back in 1988. Similar to some of his other films (including Dances With Wolves, which he also helped fund), no one wanted to make it, so the idea got shelved. Fast forward a few decades and some tweaks to the story, it's now going to be bankrolled by Costner himself. He's so confident in the project that he gambled a pretty spectacular waterfront property, which apparently really stressed out his accountant.
"I've mortgaged 10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara where I was going to build my last house," he explained. "But I did it without a thought. It has thrown my accountant into a f*cking conniption fit. But it's my life, and I believe in the idea and the story."
READ MORE: Kevin Costner's 11 Best Movies, Ranked
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