Kevin Costner unveils trailer for Horizon: An American Saga – his epic two-part Western that rivals Yellowstone

Bintano
18 Min Read

Yellowstone veteran Kevin Costner shared the first trailer for his ambitious Western epic Horizon: An American Saga on Monday.

The veteran movie star looks ragged as pioneer Hayes Ellison who treks West through dangerous territory in hopes of a new life.

The first movie is coming out in two parts – in June then in August – and chronicles a 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west. 

The clip was three minutes long and hinted at a romance between Costner’s character and the woman played by Abbey Lee, 36.

Also seen in the trailer were Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tantanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower.

This is Costner’s passion project that took him away from playing John Dutton on Taylor Sheridan’s smash hit series Yellowstone. 

When Kevin introduced the trailer during a Zoom call with reporters he shared: ‘There was a great injustice incurred in the West, but it doesn’t minimize the courage it took for my ancestors to actually cut loose and go there. And I recognize the resourcefulness it took, the bravery it took, to leave and make this march across this country.’

Yellowstone veteran Kevin Costner shared the first trailer for his ambitious Western epic Horizon: An American Saga on Monday

Yellowstone veteran Kevin Costner shared the first trailer for his ambitious Western epic Horizon: An American Saga on Monday

The veteran movie star looks ragged as pioneer Hayes Ellison who treks West through dangerous territory in hopes of a new life

The veteran movie star looks ragged as pioneer Hayes Ellison who treks West through dangerous territory in hopes of a new life

The clip was three minutes long and hinted at a romance between Costner's character and the woman played by Abbey Lee, 36, seen here staring down the lead

The clip was three minutes long and hinted at a romance between Costner’s character and the woman played by Abbey Lee, 36, seen here staring down the lead

She was seen in a purple dress with a bustier as she stands on a porch in a dusty town

She was seen in a purple dress with a bustier as she stands on a porch in a dusty town

Horizon will be shown in two parts this summer: Chapter I debuts on June 28 and Chapter II will come out on August 16. 

Three sequels for Horizon: An American Saga have also been greenlit by Warner Bros Pictures and are tentatively subtitled Part II, III and IV. 

In the clip, the actor is seen walking through picturesque Utah as he leads people West in hope of riches and peace.

‘All I’m trying to do is to get as many of us as I can, as far as I can,’ says Costner’s character as scenes of a funeral play out. 

The clicking of a gun can be heard before a brief clip appears, showing Costner, now sporting a thick mustache, as he rides in on a horse.

He holds up and shoots a rifle at an unseen target in a frenzy and with a blank expression on his face.

He appears weary as he seemingly hits whatever he is shooting at and slowly lowers his gun.

In the short teaser, he is bundled up in a black pea coat worn unbutton over a gray vest.

He also sports a patterned scarf around his neck as well as a fedora atop his head. 

Costner penned the Western epic with National Parks producer Jon Baird and will be directing and starring in the films as well.

Sienna Miller is also seen in the trailer as a woman who suffers tragedy at her home

Sienna Miller is also seen in the trailer as a woman who suffers tragedy at her home

Her house is burned down by an unknown enemy as she barely survives the wild west

Her house is burned down by an unknown enemy as she barely survives the wild west

Her family is at a breaking point as they do their best to get by

Her family is at a breaking point as they do their best to get by

She lives by a river in the desert as she tries to rebuild her family's life

She lives by a river in the desert as she tries to rebuild her family’s life

According to the description shared by Warner Bros. Pictures, Horizon: An American Saga ‘explores the lure of the Old West and how it was won — and lost — through the blood, sweat and tears of many.’

Costner’s ‘ambitious cinematic adventure’ will be set during the time of the American Civil War, which spanned four years from 1861 to 1865.

The two-part series ‘will take audiences on an emotional journey across a country at war with itself’. 

Horizon: An American Saga will tell the stories of ‘families, friends and foes all attempting to discover what it truly means to be the United States of America’.

Also on Monday Kevin was seen on Zoom in a chat moderated by Deadline’s editor Michael Fleming.

Costner's tough guy helps the locals

Costner’s tough guy helps the locals

The first movie is coming out in two parts - in June then in August - and chronicles a 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west

The first movie is coming out in two parts – in June then in August – and chronicles a 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west

The film was shot in Utah and makes use of the beautiful, unspoiled scenery

The film was shot in Utah and makes use of the beautiful, unspoiled scenery

Three sequels for Horizon: An American Saga have also been greenlit by Warner Bros Pictures and are tentatively subtitled Part II, III and IV

 Three sequels for Horizon: An American Saga have also been greenlit by Warner Bros Pictures and are tentatively subtitled Part II, III and IV

Only in theaters in 2024: In the poster for the saga, Costner appears alone in a coat and scarf

Only in theaters in 2024: In the poster for the saga, Costner appears alone in a coat and scarf

Costner talked about how the film’s original title was not Horizon.

‘It was originally called Sidewinder. And it was at a point in my career where it seemed like people were copying some of the movies I was doing, whether it’d be Robin Hood or Wyatt Earp, and I literally had commissioned this Western and I thought, “I just don’t want anyone stepping into whatever I’m trying to do,'” Costner explained.

‘So, I called it Horizon and said it was written by my son, just to disguise it when it went to the Writers Guild. I just didn’t want to be followed in 1988. And, of course, here it is in 2024 and I’m finally making this movie.’

Horizon grew on him.

‘The longer I started to think about it, the more I began to appreciate that dreams of going west; they’re always about out there, and when you realize a country’s bigger and farther than anyone ever dreamed, it is about the horizon because everybody is looking for something,’ the star stated.

Also seen in the trailer were Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson , Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tantanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower

Also seen in the trailer were Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson , Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tantanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower

A man is seen working his field in the desert

A man is seen working his field in the desert

Dany Houston, who was also in Yellowstone, was seen in a Civil War uniform

Dany Houston, who was also in Yellowstone, was seen in a Civil War uniform

Danny saluted his troops

Danny saluted his troops

‘Even today – in their relationships, what’s going on at work. They’re looking for room. They’re looking for fresh air. And our 200-year march across this country was no different.’

The official description for the film says Horizon ‘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 told Deadline in May 2023 that he mortgaged ’10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara’ in an effort to get the film made.

‘But I did it without a thought,’ he added. ‘It has thrown my accountant into a f**king conniption fit. But it’s my life, and I believe in the idea and the story.’

Also on Monday Kevin was seen on Zoom in a chat moderated by Deadline's editor Michael Fleming

Also on Monday Kevin was seen on Zoom in a chat moderated by Deadline’s editor Michael Fleming

Costner talked about how the film's original title was not Horizon. 'It was originally called Sidewinder. And it was at a point in my career where it seemed like people were copying some of the movies I was doing, whether it'd be Robin Hood or Wyatt Earp, and I literally had commissioned this Western and I thought, "I just don't want anyone stepping into whatever I'm trying to do,'" Costner explained

Costner talked about how the film’s original title was not Horizon. ‘It was originally called Sidewinder. And it was at a point in my career where it seemed like people were copying some of the movies I was doing, whether it’d be Robin Hood or Wyatt Earp, and I literally had commissioned this Western and I thought, “I just don’t want anyone stepping into whatever I’m trying to do,'” Costner explained

But he was determines to do it. 

‘It’s hard to fall out of love,’ Costner said. ‘I don’t do that. And I think things that have a classic feel, they don’t fall out of touch either. I think they exist in any decade. That’s the opportunity we have in cinema, is to make something that lasts past its opening weekend. I’ve never banked on opening weekends. I bank on people wanting to revisit something.’

He chose Horizon over Paramount’s Yellowstone. It is not known when the last of season five of the series will air.

Costner added he thinks the formula for Horizon works.

‘I wanted to step away from what we usually see in Westerns, which is sometimes there’s a town that’s already there, no one knows how it came to be but it’s some mushroom that popped up. There’s a guy [that] comes in off the horizon, if you will. We don’t know much about him except that he has some skills that he’d like to put behind him, and this town ends up needing those desperately,’ Costner shared. 

'So, I called it Horizon and said it was written by my son, just to disguise it when it went to the Writers Guild. I just didn't want to be followed in 1988. And, of course, here it is in 2024 and I'm finally making this movie,' Kevin added

‘So, I called it Horizon and said it was written by my son, just to disguise it when it went to the Writers Guild. I just didn’t want to be followed in 1988. And, of course, here it is in 2024 and I’m finally making this movie,’ Kevin added

Native Americans are also featured in the film. Horizon grew on him, said Kevin. 'The longer I started to think about it, the more I began to appreciate that dreams of going west; they're always about out there, and when you realize a country's bigger and farther than anyone ever dreamed, it is about the horizon because everybody is looking for something'

Native Americans are also featured in the film. Horizon grew on him, said Kevin. ‘The longer I started to think about it, the more I began to appreciate that dreams of going west; they’re always about out there, and when you realize a country’s bigger and farther than anyone ever dreamed, it is about the horizon because everybody is looking for something’

The Indians suffered as settlers traveled West to use the land and kill their animals

The Indians suffered as settlers traveled West to use the land and kill their animals

He also makes sure the film shows what Native Americans went through. 'The Civil War is a mark on our country however you choose to look at it -- the loss of life, the reason it was fought, the kind of things we haven't solved and [are] still trying to come to terms as a nation,' Costner said

He also makes sure the film shows what Native Americans went through. ‘The Civil War is a mark on our country however you choose to look at it — the loss of life, the reason it was fought, the kind of things we haven’t solved and [are] still trying to come to terms as a nation,’ Costner said

‘That’s a bit of the formula for the West, and when it’s done right, we never forget it. And too often it’s just a convenience for a hero guy to knock down a dumb guy. We have a lot of Westerns that aren’t good because they get too simplified, and Westerns are, in fact, complicated because this isn’t Disneyland.’

‘These are real lives, people just making their way — women just trying to keep their families clean, fed, and basically worked to death. Women’s lives were short. All they did was have to work,’ he continues. ‘And so, I’m drawn to that. I’m always going to get to my gunfight. But I’m drawn to the little things of what people had to endure. So, to me it was worth holding on to because it’s a story that I just felt that I wanted to tell. It just grew and it grew and it grew until suddenly I realized that I just had to make it.’

He also makes sure the film shows what Native Americans went through.

‘The Civil War is a mark on our country however you choose to look at it — the loss of life, the reason it was fought, the kind of things we haven’t solved and [are] still trying to come to terms as a nation,’ Costner said. ‘The Civil War, actually, kept the focus of the country on the East Coast, but the minute that war was over in 1865 the country looked west again. And in 25 years — [land] that had been there for thousands of years — it was over. Our national appetite was to be satisfied at the disadvantage of those who had been there and flourished and were living in their own way.’

‘And I don’t know that I’ve ever come to terms with that myself,’ he continued. ‘I don’t know that I’m ashamed or embarrassed, but … I wanna project what really happened. A great injustice occurred in the West, but it doesn’t minimize the courage it took for my ancestors to actually cut loose and go there. And I recognize the resourcefulness it took, the bravery it took to leave and make this march across this country. It’s just a movie that kind of shows the clash of cultures. It’s our history.’

'The Civil War, actually, kept the focus of the country on the East Coast, but the minute that war was over in 1865 the country looked west again. And in 25 years -- [land] that had been there for thousands of years -- it was over. Our national appetite was to be satisfied at the disadvantage of those who had been there and flourished and were living in their own way,' said Costner

‘The Civil War, actually, kept the focus of the country on the East Coast, but the minute that war was over in 1865 the country looked west again. And in 25 years — [land] that had been there for thousands of years — it was over. Our national appetite was to be satisfied at the disadvantage of those who had been there and flourished and were living in their own way,’ said Costner

This is Costner's passion project that took him away from playing John Dutton on Taylor Sheridan's smash hit series Yellowstone

This is Costner’s passion project that took him away from playing John Dutton on Taylor Sheridan’s smash hit series Yellowstone

Costner filmed Horizon in 52 days in Utah; he had 106 days for Dances With Wolves.

‘I just hope people feel that they were taken somewhere,’ Costner says. ‘The oldest profession — besides that gal thing — is telling stories around the fire. And we all wanna hear a good one. We don’t want somebody to waste our time. And I take my time. I hope I don’t waste your time.’

He last directed 2003’s Open Range. He is now trying to make the third installment of Horizon. 

‘I think to myself as I’m watching this trailer and you guys, it’s kind of over for me,’ he said. ‘I went there. It’s not like I’m not gonna make more, but I’m terribly satisfied in my own life that God allowed me to get these first two done. If I’m hit by lightning, who knows what happens. At least I went west.’

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