The first two parts of actor-director Kevin Costner’s Western epic “Horizon: An American Saga,” which were filmed in southern Utah, have been given release dates, Warner Bros. Pictures announced Thursday.
The first chapter of the proposed four-part series is scheduled to open in theaters on June 28, 2024, and the second is slated for Aug. 16, 2024, the studio announced.
Warner Bros. and its New Line Cinema subsidiary, which are releasing the films, also put out a teaser trailer online, which gives a quick glimpse of the film’s Utah backdrops.
The saga captures a 15-year period of the settlement of the American West, before, during and after the Civil War. No other story details have been released yet.
The cast, according to the teaser trailer, is led by Costner — and includes Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tatanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower.
Costner is directing the films, and shares screenplay credit with first-time screenwriter Jon Baird. Costner won an Oscar for directing his first movie, the 1990 Western “Dances With Wolves,” which also won Best Picture. He followed that up as a director with the post-apocalyptic 1997 bomb “The Postman” and the 2003 Western “Open Range.”
The first part was filmed around Moab last spring. Costner was directing the second and third parts in southern Utah, mostly in Washington County, this summer, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Part four is expected to be shot somewhere in Utah in 2024.
Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke reported in April that the production was set to spend $90 million in the state. In 2022, Utah lawmakers raised the cap on Utah’s annual film incentive from $8.3 million to $12 million for a period of two years. As a result, film productions in Utah could get back a total of $12 million in tax rebates.
Overall, according to Virginia Pearce, executive director of the Utah Film Commission, film production companies spent $140 million in Utah last year and employed about 3,000 crew members. For each dollar spent on the film tax credit, $7 is returned to the Utah economy, according to a University of Utah’s Kem Gardner Policy Institute study.
Though Costner worked with the Shivwits Band of Paiutes Indian reservation to protect and preserve their land, some of the film’s production led to damage of wildlife habitats in the San Rafael Swell. Costner’s production company, as a result, sent checks to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources totaling around $69,000, according to documents The Tribune obtained.
In a news release announcing the production, Costner said, “the state of Utah, with its intrinsic beauty, is the perfect backdrop for the story of ‘Horizon’ and can be said to be its own character in our story.”
Previously, Costner worked in Utah filming the first three seasons of the TV series “Yellowstone,” in which he played the patriarch of a wealthy ranching family.