- Kevin Costner told Variety that he is planning his western "Horizon" as "four different movies."
- He said that they would be released "about every three months."
- Costner eventually wants to edit the movies into shorter TV episodes.
Kevin Costner is readying his western epic, "Horizon," and he's thinking big.
The "Yellowstone" star and Oscar winner told Variety this week that he's planning the project, which will be his first directorial effort since 2003's "Outer Range," as "four different movies" that would be released "about every three months."
Production is scheduled to begin in August, and the project is being produced by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
It's unclear how "Horizon" would be initially released — either theatrically or via a streaming service — but Costner said it would be at Warner Bros.' discretion "because things change really quickly in how people want to see things and what they want to do."
Over the last two years during the coronavirus pandemic, movie studios have experimented with distribution strategies and how audiences consume content has shifted.
Last year, for instance, Warner Bros. released all of its movies simultaneously in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming platform. This year, the studio is releasing its movies exclusively to theaters for 45 days before they become available to stream — a much shorter theatrical window than before the pandemic.
The theatrical industry is more IP-driven than ever before, with blockbuster sequels supporting the box office and mid-budget, adult-friendly dramas largely struggling as the market recovers from the pandemic.
It's hard to say where the theatrical market will be by the time "Horizon" is finished, and whether there will be an appetite there for four, nearly three-hour western dramas.
But Costner did say he originally pitched the project as an "event television movie." And he eventually wants to edit the four movies into TV episodes.
"I'm happiest because at one point in TV — where you can get your largest audience — they're going to get to see it the way I intended it to be seen," Costner told Variety. "It will eventually be cut up into [hour-long episodes] or 42 minutes, however TV works. But their first viewing of it will be as four, two-hour-and-45-minute movies."