Upcoming Movies

What This 2003 Western Movie Means for Kevin Costner’s Upcoming Epic

May 28, 20249 Mins Read

Currently renowned for his performance as John Dutton in Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone, Kevin Costner has been a prominent figure in the Western genre for decades. Known for earlier roles in films like Silverado and Dances With Wolves, he has proven his talents both on screen and in the director’s chair. In an overlooked 2003 movie, the iconic actor laid the groundwork for a long-awaited film set for a June 2024 release.

Kevin Costner has shown himself to be a passionate admirer of the Western genre since his first venture into the genre in Silverado. Playing the role of Jake, he soon proved himself one of Hollywood’s best leading men and led an impressive, albeit flawed, career during the 1990s and 2000s. From The Bodyguard to JFK, the actor proved himself a versatile movie star, taking on genres like romance, thriller, drama, adventure, and science fiction. However, for more than three decades, the actor-director has been trying to get a passion project off the ground — and it’s slated to be a true Western epic. However, before his sprawling saga hits theaters, it’s worth analyzing one of his best past films to get a taste of what may be in store.

Kevin Costner’s Horizon Saga, Explained


‘That’s the Real Number’: Kevin Costner Clears Up Rumors About New Western’s Budget

Kevin Costner gets candid about funding his passion project Horizon: An American Saga, revealing that what’s been reported was way off.

The Best Old Westerns

#1 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

#2 – Once Upon a Time in the West

#3 – Unforgiven

In June 2024, the first part of Kevin Costner’s Western epic, Horizon: An American Saga will release in theaters across the US. The first in a planned four-part story, the movie will follow a variety of characters who head West during the expansion of American territory right around the Civil War era. The entire story will span a full fifteen-year period, and the first will follow the characters from 1859 onwards into the conflict. The film’s namesake is a fictitious town, Horizon City, Texas, which will serve as a primary backdrop for the story. The settlement serves as a destination for the characters, but constant raids by Native Americans mean the area is constantly being won and lost by the settlers.

Horizon’s trailer touches on virtually every element of the United States’ westward expansion, with the trailer including cavalry soldiers, gunslingers, ranchers, farmers, fur trappers, and Native Americans. Where most Westerns typically hone in on a few elements of the genre, Costner is going all out to ensure no stone is left unturned in his depiction of the Old West. Although not based on a true story, the film will serve as a stand-in for an almost biographic look at the West itself and the grueling, perilous journey into the new frontier.

Open Range Is A Brilliant Western

Kevin Costner and Robert DuVall in Open Range


John Wayne’s Last Film Has a Secret Meaning Most Fans Missed

John Wayne was a legend of the Western genre and his final film, The Shootist, holds great significance to cinema and Westerns.

The Best Non-Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns

#1 – A Pistol For Ringo

#2 – The Great Silence

#3 – The Mercenary

In 2003, Kevin Costner directed and starred in Open Range, a Western that follows a group of cattlemen in Montana; Boss, who runs the enterprise; Charley, a Civil War veteran; Mose, a heavyset and kind-hearted man; and Button, the youngest of the group, practically a boy compared to the others. When Boss sends Mose to the local town of Harmonville for supplies, the group becomes concerned after he doesn’t return. Boss and Charley head into town to find their friend, learning that he has been beaten by locals after defending himself in a fight instigated by men working for the tyrannical leader of the town, rancher Denton Baxter. An Irish immigrant, Baxter loathes the free-grazing used by Boss and his men, and gives them an ultimatum; get out of his territory or else get shot.

When Boss and Charley return to camp with an injured Mose, Button informs them of local riders stalking their wagon. After seeing them in the flesh, the two seasoned riders head out to confront them, only to learn that more riders have been sent to the camp to kill them. Racing back, the pair find Mose dead from a gunshot to the head, and Button clinging to life from shots and a concussion. They bury Mose and return to Harmonville, bringing their friend to the local doctor and plotting to kill Baxter and his men, including the corrupt Marshal, Poole. Despite the locals being sympathetic to their plight, they’re given the cold shoulder when they seek assistance, with even bartenders not being allowed to serve them. At the same time, Charley begins to fall in love with the doctor’s sister, Sue, though he doesn’t initially pursue his feelings, believing her to be the man’s wife.

With a full-blown war about to break out between Charley & Boss and Baxter and his men, the people of Harmonville brace themselves. Many of the onlookers are torn between doing the right thing in standing up to the corrupt rancher and looking out for themselves and their families. The two cattlemen clear out the area, arm up, and take on the crook’s henchmen one-on-one. In an epic, well-drawn-out shoot-out, the men take their revenge against almost a dozen gunfighters, drawing in the townspeople. When the dust settles, Charley, Boss, and Button survive, with the war veteran deciding to finally settle down with Sue, and taking Boss up on an offer to take over a local bar.

What Open Range Means For Horizon

Michael Gambon as Denton Baxter in Open Range


‘Always Regretted That’: Kevin Costner Names Big Career Mistake

Two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Costner also has some career regrets.

The Best Western Remakes

#1 – A Fistful of Dollars

#2 – The Magnificent Seven

#3 – 3:10 to Yuma

Open Range was far from Costner’s first foray into the Western genre, having starred in Dances With Wolves, Wyatt Earp, and Silverado, but it is his best to date. Much like what has been teased through the Horizon trailer, the 2003 hit is a romance-fueled epic, one that uses the majesty and beauty of the American frontier to its advantage. In the 2024 movie, Costner will star as Hayes Ellison, who appears to be a very similar character to Open Range’s Charley; a character who seems to have a violent history but is ultimately motivated by a sense of right, wrong and duty. For Horizon, Costner wants to move beyond the classic dynamic of heroes versus villains, instead exploring a more nuanced exploration of the motivations of Western settlers.

Kevin Costner has been trying to get Horizon: An American Saga off the ground in some way since the 1980s. After releasing Open Range, he approached the Walt Disney Company with the idea in the hopes of securing finance for the project. However, while his 2003 movie made modest box office returns, the Western genre has long been very hit or miss when it comes to modern audiences and financial success. Considering the epic scope of the movie, it’s understandable that funding was hard to come by — which is likely why Costner turned to partially self-financing the project and seeking private investors.

Horizon Promises To Be A True Western Epic


Kevin Costner Expresses Interest in Making Comedy Movie With Genre Legend

Horizon: An American Saga star and director Kevin Costner reveals he wants to jump into comedy with one of the best actors in the genre.

The Most Important Westerns of All Time

#1 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

#2 – Shane

#3 – The Magnificent Seven

Based on its trailer, Horizon appears to be a character-driven story of love, family, and kinship, which follows its various characters on their journey West. On the topic of Open Range, Costner expressed an interest in the Western romance novels of Lauran Paine, whose story The Open Range Men directly inspired the 2003 movie (though the film wasn’t written by Costner). This interest in romantically-driven Westerns has had a clear impact on Costner’s work as both an actor and director, and the influence on Horizon is clear from the trailer. While the action is to be expected, that isn’t the point of the film, rather the exploration of how the West was won will take center stage. Fans of the Hollywood icon can expect to see his interpretation of the same novels that inspired his 2003 masterpiece.

Whether through film or television, Kevin Costner’s foray into the Western genre has always stood out as distinct from the likes of John Wayne of Clint Eastwood. Whether it was his sprawling tale of Wyatt Earp, the Hatfields and McCoys miniseries, or Open Range, the actor-director seems at his most comfortable in Westerns of epic scale and character-driven narratives. Although gunfights and action sequences do exist in these projects, they aren’t as central to the story as they would be in a Spaghetti Western. This is the type of balance audiences can expect from the upcoming Horizon saga: epic storytelling, character-driven conflict, and gunfights included to keep things moving.

  • Open Range Movie Poster

    Open Range

    A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

    Kevin Costner

    Release Date
    August 15, 2003

    Kevin Costner , Robert Duvall , Diego Luna , Abraham Benrubi

    Lauran Paine , Craig Storper

  • Horizon An American Saga Film Poster

    Horizon: An American Saga

    Chronicles a multi-faceted, 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west.

    Kevin Costner

    Release Date
    June 28, 2024

    Kevin Costner , Sienna Miller , Michael Angarano , Jena Malone

    Jon Baird , Kevin Costner

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Get our latest downloads and information first.
Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.