Horizon: An American Saga – Part 1 will clock in at three hours

The Kevin Costner Western epic tale will be as vast as the horizon itself as the runtime for the first part has been revealed.

Kevin Costner’s passion project will be a summer release this year. The actor has returned to the director’s seat in over twenty years for Horizon: An American Saga, which is set to be told in two chapters. Costner began work on this story in 1988 and he has more movies planned. The main character that he invented for this film in 1988 was so important to him that he even named his son, Hayes, after him. He hopes the movies can be a big franchise and that years from now, people can binge-watch hours of Horizon in theaters.

Costner, who is not known to be a franchise actor, would plan to do what most Hollywood tentpole movies aim for — go for that summer movie release date. Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 will be riding into theaters this June, and as Deadline runs down the list of movies being set to release this year (which is unusually thin due to the Hollywood strikes from last fall), it is revealed that Costner’s western will be clocking in at three hours long. The Yellowstone star is no stranger to long films. His famous Oscar-winning period film Dances With Wolves, a movie he also directed, also sported a length of just over three hours. Costner would also return to the Western epic in 1994’s Wyatt Earp, which ran a three-hour and eleven-minute runtime. He also directed and starred in The Postman in 1997. That film is a post-apocalyptic film that has a Western-like tone and nearly crossed the three-hour mark.

Horizon‘s commercial appeal makes it a dark horse contender of the summer. The trailer was an old-fashioned presentation that is played straight-forward without any modern flash or visual flair. It almost seemed out of time with a “they don’t make ’em like this anymore” vibe. After the news of its runtime, it could possibly have an uphill battle sustaining the patience of summer moviegoers. However, the argument could have been made for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which was also a three-hour, character-driven historical drama, but it would be a pure dialogue-driven film, whereas Horizon has the benefit of action sequences that can ease the pacing for an audience. Additionally, Costner has chosen to release Chapter 2 only a couple months later in August, which is a move that’s unheard of these days.

About the Author

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.