Everything you need to know about Kevin Costner’s Horizon movies

Kevin Costner on a horse in ‘Horizon.’
Warner Bros.

Throughout his long career as a movie star, few people have bet bigger on themselves than Kevin Costner. Dances With Wolves seemed like the kind of bloated vanity project that many Hollywood stars engage in, but it was widely acclaimed and ultimately won Best Picture. Now, Costner is betting big on himself again with a new multi-part western called Horizon. The project also stars Costner, and it seems designed to revive the big-budget Western. Costner is doing this instead of an apparent sixth season of Yellowstone, which he’s been starring in in recent years.

“It’s really been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s exactly what I want to do,” Kevin explained in 2022 during an interview with People. Costner is betting big on this return to the big screen, but what do we actually know about the massive, multipart endeavor?

What is the release date for Horizon?

Kevin Costner in ‘Horizon.’
Warner Bros.

Horizon is at least a two-part story, and both parts are set to hit theaters in the summer of 2024. The first will be released on June 28, with the second to follow two months later on August 16. Costner has also said that there are supposed to be two more films in this saga, but those films have not been shot yet.

What is the plot of Horizon?

Luke Wilson in ‘Horizon.’
Warner Bros.

While we know that these Horizon movies are Westerns, the actual details of their plots remain mostly a mystery. According to the movie’s official plot description, it “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.”

Costner is, of course, no stranger to Westerns as a genre. Dances With Wolves, his most successful prior directorial effort, fit squarely in that genre. “A lot of times, we measure ourselves against other generations,” he told People in 2022. “I think about what was at stake. How did people survive? There’s a rawness and an unpredictability about it. I’m haunted by that.”

Costner and Jon Baird co-wrote the movie’s script.

Who is in the cast for Horizon?

Sam Waterston in ‘Horizon.’
Warner Bros.

Horizon has a massive ensemble cast that includes Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Luke Wilson, Ella Hunt, Will Patton, Thomas Haden Church, Isabelle Fuhrman, Michael Rooker, Glynn Turman, Kathleen Quinlan, and Giovanni Ribisi. Individual roles have not been described in much detail, however, so it’s unclear how big any of these actors’ parts will be.

The movie will also co-star Costner’s son, Hayes. “He’s very good,” Costner told People. “Hayes plays the namesake character that I actually play in the movie. He’s 13 years old, and the screenplay’s been around longer than that.”

Is there a trailer for Horizon?

A full trailer for Horizon: An American Saga was released on February 26 by Warner Bros. Pictures. The trailer is over three minutes long, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of concrete plot details. Instead, we get a sense of the story’s epic scope and of the broad ensemble that Costner has assembled to pull it off.

The general impression, though, is that Horizon will be an old-fashioned Western that leans into the idea of heroes and villains. It’s also unclear exactly how much of the footage in the film is lifted from the first part.

This has long been a passion project for Costner

Kevin Costner in Yellowstone standing next to a horse.

As he hinted at when explaining that his son was actually younger than the script for this movie, Horizon has been in the works for a long time. On top of that, Costner has also made it clear that he is willing to put his own money up to finance the 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 fucking conniption fit. But it’s my life, and I believe in the idea and the story.”

Costner said that the beginnings of this came all the way back in the 1980s.

“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 Deadline. “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.”

Costner also made it clear that he won’t be taking this approach again and that he’s deferred all his payments from this part of the film — he basically did it for free.

“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,” he explained.