Kevin Costner Wants To Keep Making Horizon Movies, Knows It’s A Bad Idea

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

kevin costner horizon

How would Kevin Costner describe his enormous Western passion project, Horizon: An American Saga, which spans four films and will ultimately cost nearly four hundred million dollars? Keep in mind, in an effort to land funds for the movie, Costner famously mortgaged his own Santa Barbara property. Well, in a recent interview accompanying an event commemorating the project’s trailer release, Costner described his odyssey making the first two films, and ambition to make a further two, as: “Not the smartest thing.” 

Costner Is Committed

kevin costner horizon

This frank admission came on the heels of Costner voicing his sweeping plans for the remainder of the Western epic. Make no mistake: the actor-director is committed to finishing all four films in the sage despite the inherent financial and creative risk.

Costner has labored over the film series/passion project for more than 30 years. The films relate an expansive narrative, perhaps influenced by the novel and film Lonesome Dove, concerning settlers in the American West before and after the Civil War.

Costner Intends For Horizon To Speak For Itself

kevin costner horizon

Kevin Costner betrayed a faithful belief in the power of storytelling while speaking about Horizon, “I count on the movie speaking louder than anything I can say.” Of course, whoever helped finance the films hopes the same thing, too. 

Necessity: The Mother Of Invention

The logistical feats involved in creating the films are nothing if not remarkable. Costner finished principal photography for the upcoming installment in a mere 52 days, a significant reduction from the 106 days necessary to film his directorial debut, Dances with Wolves. This efficiency was crucial for the viability of the project–it features an enormous cast, and it’s all all shot before vast, scenic landscapes. The latter vistas are wonderfully reminiscent of classic Westerns, yet benefit from a noticeable modern touch. 

Kevin Costner admitted about Horizon, “I’m shocked at what we were able to get.” The director said he employed “every trick in the book to try to bring this movie to the ground and bring it to an audience. And there’s four of them!” 

The Stars Of The First Two Features

Aside from the challenges inherent to producing the films, the creative’s vision for his project is admirable, as well. The first two installments of the series star, in addition to Costner, Sienna Miller, Luke Wilson, and Sam Worthington.

This Won’t Be Like Yellowstone

The first two films, set to debut this summer, will be released only weeks apart, which is an unprecedented strategy. Their performance will be crucial in determining the future of the third and fourth films. Unlike Yellowstone, the incredibly successful TV series most fans experienced on streaming, the Horizon films will depend on people going, en masse, to the theater. 

Costner Expects Success

kevin costner horizon

That said, Kevin Costner remains optimistic about Horizon, buoyed by the deep-seated, unshakable belief in the power of filmmaking and, of course, his beloved Western genre. In a way, the filmmaker’s own approach to his saga, however reckless, embodies the spirit of the American West—bold, adventurous, and unyielding.