Kevin Costner's 'Horizon: An American Saga' Got a Standing Ovation at Its Cannes Debut

a man in a cowboy hat on a horse
Everything We Know About Kevin Costner's HorizonScreenshot/Warner Bros/YouTube

Fans of the Western drama Yellowstone are still in mourning over the news that the series is coming to a close—evidently in part due to the exit of star Kevin Costner. And while we're still anxiously awaiting what fate will hold for John Dutton, for those who just can't get enough Costner, there's good news, because the actor's upcoming film franchise Horizon: An American Saga is fast approaching.

The saga's first trailer debuted in February, offering our first real look at what's to come from the actor in his post-Dutton era, along with some key information about the films. (Watch the full trailer above.) A second trailer dropped in May:

The film's runtime was seemingly confirmed in a report by Deadline, which noted it as a "three-hour Western." The report also listed the saga as a potential box office surprise, with one expecting positing that it “can be a $5M or a $100M movie.”

On May 19, the film made its debut at out of competition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Costner walked the red carpet at the event with five of his children, including his son Hayes—who not only appears in the film, but is also named after Costner's character (more on that below).

horizon an american saga red carpet the 77th annual cannes film festival
Costner and his children Annie, Cayden, Grace, Hayes, and Lily walked the red carpet together at Cannes. Marc Piasecki - Getty Images

Here's everything we know so far about Costner's new, far-reaching project:

When does Horizon come out?

The Horizon films will come out in quick succession this year, with the first hitting theaters on June 28, 2024, and the second following a few weeks later on August 16, 2024. While Horizon was originally announced as a four film series, posters for the franchise are now billing it as "a two-part theatrical event." Costner later shared that he had begun production on the third film in the series just days before the first film's debut at Cannes, and emphasized his plan to complete four movies, saying he intends “to go as far as my money takes me,” with the saga.

In April, the star, who also serves as the project's director, shared the news that the film would screen at Cannes, saying,"I’d like to thank the Festival de Cannes for including my film Horizon, An American Saga in this year’s selection. It’s been 20 years since I’ve had the pleasure of being on the Croisette. I’ve been waiting for the right time to return and I’m proud to say that this time has come." He added, "Horizon, An American Saga is a story that began 35 years ago, and I can’t think of a better place than Cannes to reveal to the world the result of such a wonderful adventure. The French have always supported films and believed deeply in filmmaking. Just as I believe deeply in my film."

What's it about?

At the moment, relatively little is known about the actual plot of the films. Per the official description, the saga, which is co-written by Costner and Jon Baird, "explores the lure of the Old West and how it was won — and lost — through the blood, sweat and tears of many. Spanning the four years of the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, Costner’s ambitious cinematic adventure will take audiences on an emotional journey across a country at war with itself, experienced through the lens of families, friends and foes all attempting to discover what it truly means to be the United States of America.”

It's territory that's more than familiar to Costner, who, in addition to his work on Yellowstone, garnered an Oscar for Best Director and a nomination for Best Actor in the Civil War drama Dances With Wolves and directed and starred in the 2003 Western, Open Range.

It's Kevin Costner's pet project.

Costner is putting his money where his mouth is on the sprawling project.

"I’ve mortgaged 10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara where I was going to build my last house," the star told Deadline in 2023, “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."

It's a story that's been a long time percolating. "I commissioned this story in 1988. Single movie, two-hander. A conventional Western with a beginning, middle, and end. I couldn’t get anybody to make it," he told the publication. "Eight years later, I started thinking about the story, started writing with a partner, and it ended up being four screenplays. So I reverse-engineered everything from 1988. I thought it was really good. But I still couldn’t get anybody to make it.... I don’t know why, but I have not let go of this one. I’ve pushed it into the middle of the table three times in my career and didn’t blink. This is my fourth."

In addition to putting up the money for the films, Costner says he has also "basically deferred" all of his fees on the first two films, which, considering he's serving as writer, director, producer, and an actor is certainly significant. "I’m never gonna do this again," he laughed. "I’m never putting my f*cking money in another movie after these four."

Still, he said, he sees the films as a worthwhile risk. "I gamble on the love of story. I’m gambling on people, in a sense. I can’t make them go to the theater, but if they get there, I’m going to try to take care of them the best I possibly can."

"It's really been the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's exactly what I want to do," he told People. "In my career I've tried to choose not based on what was popular. I made the films I wanted to make."

Who is in the cast of Horizon?

a person holding a basket in a field of flowers with a river in the background
Miller in Horizon.Screenshot/Warner Bros/YouTube

Costner, of course, has a starring role in the films. Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Ella Hunt, Will Patton, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Thomas Haden Church, Michael Rooker, Glynn Turman, Kathleen Quinlan, and Giovanni Ribisi are all set to appear, though details about their individual roles remain scant.

Costner's son, Hayes, will also appear in the film. "He's very good," Costner told People in 2022. "He's 13 years old and the screenplay's been around longer than that."

In fact, Costner later revealed he had, in fact, gotten Hayes's name from the script. "I named him after the character I play in this," Costner told ET in April 2024, "My character's name is Hayes Ellison, and I named Hayes that character. So I was watching him grow up and I was thinking, 'Man, I better get with it and make this movie.'"

He added, "I captured him and I brought him on, and he's very good in this small part that he's done. If you see it, I think he has an impact on the movie."

We'll update this as we learn more about Kevin Costner's Horizon.

You Might Also Like