Kevin Costner's Son Hayes Stars Alongside Him in 'Horizon: An American Saga' Trailer

'Horizon' will mark Costner's return to the director's chair for the first time since 2003's 'Open Range.'

Kevin Costner's 15-year-old son, Hayes, is making his acting debut in his dad's new movie, Horizon: An American Saga

The trailer for Horizon: An American Saga dropped on Monday, and viewers were quick to notice one member of the cast who bears a stunning resemblance to the film's star and director. 

In the trailer, Hayes stars alongside Sienna Miller and a young actress, who seemingly play his mother and sister, as the trio begins to retreat into the floorboards of a home. After helping to secure the woman and the young girl, the actor delivers his line, declaring he is staying behind. 

"It's all right -- I'm gonna be with Dad," Hayes says, closing a trap door above the two ladies. 

Hayes is the second youngest of Costner's seven children, three of whom he shares with recent ex-wife Christine Baumgartner. In total, Costner has four sons and three daughters: Annie, 39, Lily, 37, Joe, 36, Liam, 26, Cayden, 16, Hayes, 15, and Grace, 13. However, the 15-year-old is hardly the first to act alongside his father as Annie, Lily and Joe all worked with their dad on his 1997 film The Postman

Getty Images

The upcoming Western film is Costner's passion project -- an epic that's been more than three decades in the making -- which will come to the silver screen, not just once, but twice this summer.

In the trailer released on Monday, the gripping opening features Danny Huston -- decked out in a Union Army uniform -- eloquently delivering an ominous message about what's to come as miles of wagons make their way west in search for a better opportunity. 

"You and I are standing guard in one of the last great open spaces," says Huston's character against the backdrop of mountain ranges and shots of Native Americans at the ready for the inevitable clash. "These people think that if you're tough enough, smart enough and mean enough all this will be theirs someday. There's no army of this earth that's gonna stop those wagons coming and lose their want to them."

Just then, Costner makes his first appearance in the trailer riding a horse while leading those same wagons across the mountaintop. The trailer then delves into the predictable collision course that occurs in the Wild West, which in Costner's world means surviving more than just a gunfight. There are inevitable demises caused by nature's harsh elements.

Like when Luke Wilson's character tries his damndest to get his message across as he leads his brood west.

"All I'm trying to do is get as many of us as I can as far as I can," Wilson says as he's later seen burying presumably a loved one who succumbed during the trek.

Costner acted in, directed, and produced the two-part theatrical event. In an unprecedented move, chapter one will hit theaters June 28, followed by chapter two on Aug. 16. The film stars Huston, Wilson, Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, Michael Rooker, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tatanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower.

Horizon: An American Saga is set in the pre-and-post-American Civil War period, depicting the expansion of the American West. All in all, Costner's ambitious project will total four films.

During a candid conversation over Zoom and moderated by Deadline's Mike Fleming ahead of the trailer's official release, Costner opened up about the origins of the films, what he hopes moviegoers take away from his passion project and how this picture differs from his last ambitious endeavor, Dances With Wolves.

For starters, the film's original title was not Horizon.

"It was originally called Sidewinder. And it was at a point in my career where it seemed like people were copying some of the movies I was doing, whether it'd be Robin Hood or Wyatt Earp, and I literally had commissioned this Western and I thought, 'I just don't want anyone stepping into whatever I'm trying to do,'" Costner explained. "So, I called it Horizon and said it was written by my son, just to disguise it when it went to the Writers Guild. I just didn't want to be followed in 1988. And, of course, here it is in 2024 and I'm finally making this movie."

Ultimately, the film's title, Horizon, happened by default, but as time went on, that title just made sense.

"The longer I started to think about it, the more I began to appreciate that dreams of going west; they're always about out there, and when you realize a country's bigger and farther than anyone ever dreamed, it is about the horizon because everybody is looking for something," the Oscar winner explained. "Even today -- in their relationships, what's going on at work. They're looking for room. They're looking for fresh air. And our 200-year march across this country was no different."

The official description for the film says Horizon "explores the lure of the Old West and how it was won -- and lost -- through the blood, sweat and tears of many. Spanning the four years of the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, Costner's ambitious cinematic adventure will take audiences on an emotional journey across a country at war with itself, experienced through the lens of families, friends and foes all attempting to discover what it truly means to be the United States of America."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Costner began working on Horizon in the late 1980s. It's been such an ambitious project for him, Costner told Deadline in May 2023 that he mortgaged "10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara" in an effort to get his passion project off the ground. 

"But I did it without a thought," he added. "It has thrown my accountant into a f**king conniption fit. But it's my life, and I believe in the idea and the story."


Amid his high demand in Hollywood, Costner never lost sight of his goal to bring Horizon to the big screen. What ensued was a path of hope fueled by his relentless determination. Costner said it took him and co-writer Jon Baird six years to write the scripts to his four-film saga, a project that was originally under the Disney banner before it ultimately wound up at Warner Bros. And as the months turned into years and the years turned into decades, Costner's sheer doggedness and pursuit remained fiery as ever.

"It's hard to fall out of love," Costner said. "I don't do that. And I think things that have a classic feel, they don't fall out of touch either. I think they exist in any decade. That's the opportunity we have in cinema, is to make something that lasts past its opening weekend. I've never banked on opening weekends. I bank on people wanting to revisit something."

But bank on Horizon he did, in more ways than one. He not only mortgaged those 10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara, he also ultimately chose Horizon over Paramount's Yellowstone. It had been reported that Costner clashing with Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan ultimately led to his exit from the hit series. 

During a recent child support hearing amid his divorce from Baumgartner, Costner addressed the circumstances of his exit from the show. While Costner said he wanted to return for the sixth season, he said he "couldn’t help them anymore." According to Costner, who also disclosed in court documents that he contributed at least $20 million of his own money into his passion project, making Horizon conflicted with filming Yellowstone two times a year. 

But amid their tension, Sheridan and Costner share the fundamental belief that authenticity, above all else, must exude in any given project, but especially in a Western.

"I wanted to step away from what we usually see in Westerns, which is sometimes there's a town that's already there, no one knows how it came to be but it's some mushroom that popped up. There's a guy [that] comes in off the horizon, if you will. We don't know much about him except that he has some skills that he'd like to put behind him, and this town ends up needing those desperately," Costner says. "That's a bit of the formula for the West, and when it's done right, we never forget it. And too often it's just a convenience for a hero guy to knock down a dumb guy. We have a lot of Westerns that aren't good because they get too simplified, and Westerns are, in fact, complicated because this isn't Disneyland."

"These are real lives, people just making their way -- women just trying to keep their families clean, fed, and basically worked to death. Women's lives were short. All they did was have to work," he continues. "And so, I'm drawn to that. I'm always going to get to my gunfight. But I'm drawn to the little things of what people had to endure. So, to me it was worth holding on to because it's a story that I just felt that I wanted to tell. It just grew and it grew and it grew until suddenly I realized that I just had to make it."

In choosing to film a project set in the pre-and-post-American Civil War period, Costner did not shy away from highlighting the atrocities Native Americans endured then, ramifications that reverberate to this day.

"The Civl War is a mark on our country however you choose to look at it -- the loss of life, the reason it was fought, the kind of things we haven't solved and [are] still trying to come to terms as a nation," Costner said. "The Civil War, actually, kept the focus of the country on the East Coast, but the minute that war was over in 1865 the country looked west again. And in 25 years -- [land] that had been there for thousands of years -- it was over. Our national appetite was to be satisfied at the disadvantage of those who had been there and flourished and were living in their own way."

"And I don't know that I've ever come to terms with that myself," he continued. "I don't know that I'm ashamed or embarrassed, but ... I wanna project what really happened. A great injustice occurred in the West, but it doesn't minimize the courage it took for my ancestors to actually cut loose and go there. And I recognize the resourcefulness it took, the bravery it took to leave and make this march across this country. It's just a movie that kind of shows the clash of cultures. It's our history."

Costner filmed Horizon in 52 days in picturesque Utah, a far departure in terms of time allotted to produce a high-quality picture. For 1990's Dances With Wolves -- which earned 12 Oscar nominations and won seven, including Best Picture and Best Director -- Costner shot it in 106 days. But in the end, the goal remains the same -- tell a great story. 

"I just hope people feel that they were taken somewhere," Costner says. "The oldest profession -- besides that gal thing -- is telling stories around the fire. And we all wanna hear a good one. We don't want somebody to waste our time. And I take my time. I hope I don't waste your time."

Horizon will mark Costner's return to the director's chair for the first time since his 2003 Western, Open Range. He made his directorial debut with Dances With Wolves, and he also helmed 1997's The Postman.

Costner says he's currently "pushing a rock uphill" trying to make the third installment of Horizon. For now, he's just happy this journey -- chapters one and two -- are in the books.

"I think to myself as I'm watching this trailer and you guys, it's kind of over for me," he says. "I went there. It's not like I'm not gonna make more, but I'm terribly satisfied in my own life that God allowed me to get these first two done. If I'm hit by lightning, who knows what happens. At least I went west."


Latest News