Kevin Costner’s long-awaited fourth directorial feature effort, the epic western “Horizon,” is set to become his fifth, sixth and seventh effort as well.
The “Yellowstone” actor says the Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema project, which begins production at the end of August, is being planned as an interconnected four-film saga with each of the nearly three-hour films to release around three months apart.
The actor, attending the U.K. launch of Paramount+ this week, tells Variety: “They’re all different films that all connect, so you’re watching a saga of these storylines that are happening.”
He confirms casting is currently underway as the actor tries to fill in the 170 speaking roles that span the project – his first directorial project since western “Open Range” in 2003.
The story will span fifteen years in the settlement of America’s Western frontier, and focus on both the settlers as well as the Indigenous groups that first occupied the land.
He says the project was sold as an ‘event television movie’ but in terms of release strategy it’s up to the studio:
“What [the studio does] with it will really be up to them because things change really quickly in how people want to see things and what they want to do.
I’m happiest because at one point in TV – where you can get your largest audience – they’re going to get to see it the way I intended it to be seen.
It will eventually be cut up into [hour-long episodes] or 42 minutes – however TV works. But their first viewing of it will be as four 2 hour and 45-minute movies.
And every three months, one will come out. If you’re interested in those characters, the hope is that you’ll really want to watch the next one, but it won’t be in hour segments.”
Costner is currently filming the fifth season of “Yellowstone” to air later this year. While the first “Horizon” film will shoot this Fall, the next three will be shot all together from April next year. The project currently has a shooting schedule of 220 days spread out over eight months or so.
Costner adds he doesn’t know anything about a potential sixth season of “Yellowstone”.