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Kevin Costner Left Yellowstone to Gamble Everything On His Next Project

Kevin Costner Left Yellowstone to Gamble Everything On His Next Project

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Kevin Costner is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, with over 40 years of acting experience. The award-winning actor has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry, also dabbling in writing, directing, and producing.

Costner has starred in his fair share of Western epics, including Dances with Wolves (1990), Wyatt Earp (1994), The Postman (1997), Open Range (2003), Hatfields & McCoys (2012), and Yellowstone (2018-). For his next project, Costner is going all out with a four-movie Western saga called Horizon.

Costner is not holding back with Horizon, as he is serving as a writer, producer, and director of the films, as well as starring in them. But, is the Yellowstone star gambling everything on the success of Horizon?

Horizon is Kevin Costner’s Passion Project

In recent years, Kevin Costner is best known for his role as John Dutton in Yellowstone. However, Costner is leaving behind his role in Yellowstone for his passion project Horizon.

Costner first commissioned Horizon in 1988 as a single film and later approached Disney with the idea. While it did not pan out at the time, Costner did not give up on the Western epic.

Finally, in January 2022, Costner announced that Horizon was in the works and is set to feature four films. It is the first time Costner will be directing a film since the 2003 film Open Range.

However, the road to getting Horizon to the big screen has not been an easy one. Costner has taken a big leap with the film, as he has dedicated lots of time and money to creating the epic Western saga.

Close up of Kevin Costner in the official Horizon movie poster

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

“At the end of the day, I’m a storyteller, and I went ahead and put my own money into it. I’m not a very good businessman, so, scratch your head, if you will. 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,” he continued.

According to IMDb, Horizon “Chronicles a multi-faceted, 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American West.”

With Costner’s previous success in the Western genre, many have high hopes for the films. While he is taking big risks with the films, Costner has proven that he has what it takes to excel in Westerns.

The star has taken home two Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for Dances with Wolves. In addition, Costner has also received three Golden Globe Awards for Dances with Wolves, Hatfields & McCoys, and Yellowstone.

Kevin Costner’s Dedication to Horizon Caused Conflicts With Filming Yellowstone

Costner has had to sacrifice a lot for the creation of Horizon. While he tried to make things work for Yellowstone, scheduling conflicts with Horizon were among the reasons he left the hit neo-Western drama after five seasons.

According to Costner, a “long, hard-fought negotiation” about splitting season 5 drove him away from Yellowstone. Costner had already committed to working hard on Horizon and having to film season 5 in two parts caused scheduling issues for the star.

Kevin Costner holding a shotgun in a desert landscape in the Wild West in Horizon movie

Costner even changed his schedule to film the first part of season 5. However, having to come back to film the second half of the season proved to be a challenging obstacle.

In addition, Costner was also offered less money for the season on top of the schedule struggles and creative differences. However, he still tried to make it work regardless.

“I couldn’t help them anymore. We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons, there were issues with the creative… we came up with a number, and they [Yellowstone] walked away,” People reported.

Before departing from the series, Costner made one more effort and told his representatives, “have them pay me whatever number, we came up with a number, and they [Yellowstone] walked away.”

Previously, Costner had been making a whopping $1.3 million per episode of Yellowstone. However, reports suggest that he was set to receive $24 million for seasons 5, 6, and, 7, but creative differences resulted in the show ending with just five seasons.

For Costner, Horizon has been a project that he has given his all to. While he tried to make it work with both Horizon and Yellowstone, it proved to be an unsuccessful endeavor. Horizon is an opportunity for Costner to show he still has plenty to offer outside of Yellowstone.

While Costner is leaving Yellowstone to focus on Horizon, reports state that he could still appear in a few episodes of season 5 part 2 to wrap up John Dutton’s storyline. However, as of now, filming for Yellowstone season 5 part 2 has yet to begin.

Did Kevin Costner’s Time on Horizon Lead to His Divorce?

Kevin Costner undoubtedly has his hands full. In addition to his work on Horizon and his departure from Yellowstone, the Hollywood big-shot is also going through a complicated divorce.

Rumors suggest that Costner’s dedication to creating Horizon took a toll on his marriage. While this has not been confirmed by Costner or his ex-wife Christine Baumgartner, an entertainment source spilled the beans about the couple’s rocky divorce to People.

Kevin Costner and his ex-wife Christine Baumgartner. Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency /

“Christine wants them to spend family time at their Santa Barbara home. During filming, Kevin is not around very much. His absence has been very hard for her,” the source told People.

“Christine doesn’t want him to throw himself into another project. He has been obsessed with filming Horizon since last year. She wasn’t happy about it,” said the source.

“All of this success and excitement over the new project probably took his attention away from his family more than he realized. Since it didn’t look like that would change and likely could get worse, it caused tension at home,” the source added.

Chapters 1 & 2 of Horizon Will Hit Theaters in 2024

Horizon: An American Saga Chapter 1 will premiere in theaters on June 28, 2024. Chapter 2 will be released shortly after on August 16, 2024.

While the trailer is just over 40 seconds long, it gives a promising glimpse into the Western epic. The highly-anticipated film already has people talking and appears to have the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster.

See the official teaser trailer below:

In addition to Costner, the movie will also star Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Will Patton, Thomas Haden Church, Luke Wilson, Jena Malone, Dale Dickey, Abbey Lee, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Jamie Campbell Bower.

While to some it appears that Costner may be taking a gamble with such a big project, that is not how he sees it.

“I’m not a gambler. People might look at this and say, ‘Oh, this is a gamble.’ And I go, ‘Well, I guess it is, but do I want to go to Vegas and gamble?’ No. I’m not that kind of gambler,” he explained to Deadline.

“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 continued.