We may be seeing the first of Costner’s four Horizon movies before the “final cycle” of Yellowstone.
We still don’t know when — or even if — Kevin Costner will return to the role of John Dutton for the final Season 5 episodes of Yellowstone. In fact, given all the complications (and, in some cases, picket lines) that have sprung up during the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, we don’t know for certain when production of those episodes will start. Keep in mind: There also have been strike warnings issued by the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, making it entirely possible that Paramount Network may be unable to make good on its promise of a November kickoff for the “final cycle” of the phenomenally popular series.
But there may be some good news to report regarding another Costner project. As has been widely reported, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning actor/filmmaker currently is hard at work on something he obviously feels is a higher priority than Yellowstone: Horizon: An American Saga, a four-movie epic Western that he is directing from a script he co-wrote with John Baird.
In the course of a joint interview he recently did along with Francis Ford Coppola for Deadline, Costner admitted he is taking an enormous financial risk by plowing his own money into Horizon — much like Coppola is doing while producing his own long-cherished dream project, Megalopolis. “I’ve mortgaged 10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara where I was going to build my last house,” Costner said. “But I did it without a thought. It has thrown my accountant into a bleeping conniption fit. But it’s my life, and I believe in the idea and the story.”
The gamble might be paying off sooner than anyone expected: Costner has already completed the first of his four Horizon films. “I hope it comes out in the fall,” Costner told Deadline. “I’d like to take it to the Venice Film Festival. That’s what I want if I get the chance. I love going to Europe, and I’d like to put that out there and let people know that’s what my hope is.”
The 2023 edition of the Venice Film Festival, one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world, is set for Aug. 30 through Sept. 9. If Horizon is well-received there, Warner Bros./New Line presumably will want to take advantage of the buzz and give it a theatrical release as soon as possible afterwards.
But if Costner is tied up with promoting his film in Venice, and at any other fall festivals where it might be showcased, could that further delay Costner’s possible return to Yellowstone? Especially if he’ll also be doing publicity for the theatrical release while also filming the next three Horizon chapters?
Watch this space for further developments.